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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 298658, 8 pages
Research Article

Molecular Systematics of the Phoxinin Genus Pteronotropis (Otophysi: Cypriniformes)

1Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, 3507 Laclede Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63103, USA
2Department of Biology, Saint Louis Community College, Meramec Campus, 11333 Big Bend Road, St. Louis, MO 63122, USA

Received 22 June 2014; Revised 13 December 2014; Accepted 13 December 2014

Academic Editor: Vassily Lyubetsky

Copyright © 2015 Richard L. Mayden and Jason S. Allen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The genus Pteronotropis is widely distributed along the gulf slope of eastern North America from Louisiana to Florida and rivers in South Carolina along the Atlantic slope. Pteronotropis have very distinctive, flamboyant coloration. The habitats most frequently associated with these species include heavily vegetated backwater bayous to small sluggish or flowing tannin-stained streams. Although Pteronotropis is recognized as a valid genus, no phylogenetic analysis of all the species has corroborated its monophyly. In recent years, four additional species have been either described or elevated from synonymy: P. merlini, P. grandipinnis, P. stonei, and P. metallicus, with the wide-ranging P. hypselopterus complex. To examine relationships within this genus and test its monophyly, phylogenetic analyses were conducted using two nuclear genes, recombination activating gene 1, RAG1, and the first intron of S7 ribosomal protein gene in both maximum parsimony and Bayesian analyses. In no analysis was Pteronotropis, as currently recognized, recovered as monophyletic without the inclusion of the currently recognized Notropis harperi, herein referred to as Pteronotropis. Two major clades are supported: one inclusive of P. hubbsi, P. welaka, and P. harperi and the second inclusive of P. signipinnis, P. grandipinnis, P. hypselopterus plus P. merlini sister to P. euryzonus, and P. metallicus plus P. stonei.