Identification and systematics of larvae of Artedius, Clinocottus, and Oligocottus (Scorpaeniformes:Cottidae) Public Deposited

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  • Complete, identified, developmental series of larval cottids Artedius fenestralis, A. creaseri, A. meanyi, Oligocottus snyderi, Clinocottus embryum, and C. globiceps are described for the first time. In addition, redescriptions of four species, Artedius harringtoni, A. lateralis, Oligocottus maculosus, and Clinocottus acuticeps are included that provide new and comparative information on larval development. Partial developmental series of two species, Artedius Type 3 and Clinocottus analis, are also described and illustrated for the first time. Using the methods of phylogenetic analysis proposed by Hennig (1966), characters of the larvae of 13 species of Artedius, Clinocottus, and Oligocottus are examined in terms of synapomorphic states. Number and pattern of preopercular spines, gut diverticula, body shape, and a bubble of skin at the nape are identified as synapomorphic characters useful in systematic analysis of this group. The synapomorphic character, multiple preopercular spines, provides strong evidence that Clinocottus acuticeps, C. analis, C. embryum, C. globiceps, C. recalvus, Oligocottus maculosus, 0. snyderi, Artedius fenestralis, A. harringtoni, A. lateralis, and A. Type 3 form a monophyletic group within the Cottidae. Within this group, the species of Clinocottus and Oligocottus are very closely related; however, each genus appears to be monophyletic. Larvae of all species of Clinocottus possess the synapomorphy, auxiliary preopercular spines. Larval Oligocottus maculosus and 0. snyderi share two derived characters, dorsal gut bumps and a bubble of skin at the nape. Artedius fenestralis, A. harringtoni, A. lateralis, and A. Type also form a monophyletic group closely related to Clinocottus and Oligocottus on the basis of a unique multiple preopercular spine pattern. Synapomorphic characters of the larvae provide strong evidence that A. creaseri and A. meanyi are more closely related to Icelinus than to species of Clinocottus, Oligocottus maculosus, O. snyderi, Artedius fenestralis, A. harringtoni, A. lateralis, and A. Type 3. Characters of the larvae strongly indicate that the genus Artedius as defined by Bolin (1934, 1947) is not monophyletic and that A. creaseri and A. meanyi should be placed separately from the other species of Artedius. Clarification of the exact position of these two species in relation to Icelinus and the Artedius-Clinocottus-Oligocottus group must await identification of larvae of all species of Icelinus and reexamination of characters of adult Icelinus and Artedius.
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