Parioglossus Regan

Rui Wang & Richard Winterbottom, 2006, Osteology and phylogeny of Parioglossus (Teleostei, Gobioidei), with a revised key to the species., Zootaxa 1131, pp. 1-32: 1-3

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Parioglossus Regan


[[ Genus Parioglossus Regan  ZBK  ]]

The gobioid fish genus Parioglossus  ZBK  (Teleostei: Gobioidei) was erected by Regan (1912) for the type species P. taeniatus  ZBK  , and now has 17 recognized described species. Most of these species inhabit warm temperate to tropical regions of the western Pacific and Indian Oceans; they are normally found around the roots of mangroves, or around algae in estuaries and coastal coral reefs. The general gestalt of members of the genus is exemplified by P. raoi  (Fig. 1). Only a few of the species appear to be geographically widespread (Rennis and Hoese, 1985), and one species seems to be confined to fresh water ( P. neocaledonicus  ZBK  , Dingerkus and Séret, 1992).

Tomiyama (1958, 1959) reviewed the genus and recognized four valid species ( P. taeniatus  ZBK  Regan 1912, P. rainfordi  ZBK  , McCulloch, 1921, P. borneensis  ZBK  Koumans, 1953 and P. dotui  ZBK  Tomiyama, 1958). Rennis and Hoese (1985) revisited the genus, recognized 14 valid species (including six new species, and one undescribed as “P. sp”) and provided a key to the species. Since then, four additional new species have been described. Parioglossus neocaledonicus  ZBK  was described by Dingerkus and Séret, 1992; P. sinensis  ZBK  by Zhong, 1994, and the “P. sp” of Rennis and Hoese was described as P. interruptus  ZBK  by Suzuki and Senou (1994) who, somewhat confusingly, included another but different “P. sp” in that paper, characterized by the possession of three (instead of four) pelvic fin rays. This latter species is not included in our analysis. Finally, Williams and Lecchini (2004) described P. galzini  ZBK  from Rapa.

Parioglossus  ZBK  belongs to the family Ptereleotridae Bleeker, 1876. Although there has been some controversy as to whether to recognize this higher taxon as a family or a subfamily (see, e.g. Thacker, 2000), that issue is essentially irrelevant to this study. Miller (1971) suggested that Parioglossus  ZBK  shows affinity with Ptereleotris  ZBK  Gill 1863, Oxymetopon  ZBK  Bleeker 1856, Ioglossus  ZBK  Bean in Jordan and Gilbert 1882, and Nemateleotris  ZBK  Fowler 1938, with the closest relative being Ptereleotris  ZBK  . Iogloglossus  was later relegated to the synonymy of Pterleotris  ZBK  by Randall and Hoese (1985). Rennis and Hoese (1987), in their description of the new pterleotrine genus Aioliops  ZBK  , provided a phylogenetic hypothesis for the genera they included in this subfamily. They concluded that their new genus formed an unresolved basal trichotomy with Nemateleotris  ZBK  on one hand, and a monophyletic grouping of Oxymetopon  ZBK  , Pterleotris  ZBK  and Parioglossus  ZBK  on the other. Within this latter assemblage, their osteological evidence supported the last two genera (each demonstrated to be monophyletic) as the sister group of Oxymetopon  ZBK  . That scheme of relationships is accepted here, and Nemateleotris  ZBK  (1 species) and Ptereleotris  ZBK  (2 species) were selected as sequential outgroups for this study. From these potential candidates, three species were used: Nemateleotris magnifica  , Ptereleotris hanae  and Ptereleotris microlepis  .

To date, no hypothesis of the phylogeny for the species of Parioglossus  ZBK  has been proposed. The members of the genus are very similar in meristic and morphometric values. Some of the features, such as the number of head pores, differ dramatically between individuals within certain species. One of the most important key characters used to distinguish between the species is body coloration. It has been suggested that osteological characters of gobioid fishes may be useful in classification (Regan, 1911), as these characters tend to be more stable than external morphology and coloration. The main thrust of this paper is the comparison of both the external morphology and the osteology of the species of Parioglossus  ZBK  to derive a hypothesis of their interrelationships.