Osteology and myology of the cephalic region and pectoral girdle of the Chinese catfish Cranoglanis bouderius, with a discussion on the autapomorphies and phylogenetic relationships of the Cranoglanididae (Teleostei : Siluriformes)

Sep 1, 2002

The cephalic and pectoral girdle structures of the Chinese catfish Cranoglanis bouderius are described and compared with those of other catfishes as the foundation for an analysis on the Cranoglanididae autapomorphies and also for a discussion on the phylogenetic relationships between the cranoglanidids and the other catfishes. Our observations and comparisons indicate that cranoglanidids are defined, at least, by four autapomorphies, namely: 1) the cartilages associated with the mandibular barbels are broad, somewhat circular; 2) epioccipital with a well-developed posterodorsal process, which presents a large, deep, circular posterior concavity; 3) a well-defined, deep, anteroposteriorly elongated concavity formed by both the frontal and the lateral ethmoid to receive the anteromedial surface of the metapterygoid; 4) the adductor mandibulae A3" is dorsally divided into two bundles and partially inserted on the posterior portion of the primordial ligament. With respect to the phylogenetic relationships of the Cranoglanididae, this study strongly suggests that these fishes are probably closely related to the Ariidae and the Claroteidae.