Molecular phylogeny and evidence for an adaptive radiation of geophagine cichlids from South America (Perciformes: Labroidei). Academic Article uri icon


  • Nucleotide sequences from the mitochondrial ND4 gene and the nuclear RAG2 gene were used to derive the most extensive molecular phylogeny to date for the Neotropical cichlid subfamily Geophaginae. Previous hypotheses of relationships were tested in light of these new data and a synthesis of all existing molecular information was provided. Novel phylogenetic findings included support for : (1) a 'Big Clade' containing the genera Geophagus sensu lato, Gymnogeophagus, Mikrogeophagus, Biotodoma, Crenicara, and Dicrossus; (2) a clade including the genera Satanoperca, Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, and Taeniacara; and (3) corroboration for Kullander's clade Acarichthyini. ND4 demonstrated saturation effects at the third code position and lineage-specific rate heterogeneity, both of which influenced phylogeny reconstruction when only equal weighted parsimony was employed. Both branch lengths and internal branch tests revealed extremely short basal nodes that add support to the idea that geophagine cichlids have experienced an adaptive radiation sensu Schluter that involved ecomorphological specializations and life history diversification.

published proceedings

  • Mol Phylogenet Evol

author list (cited authors)

  • Lpez-Fernndez, H., Honeycutt, R. L., & Winemiller, K. O.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • López-Fernández, Hernán||Honeycutt, Rodney L||Winemiller, Kirk O

publication date

  • January 2005