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Compiler and date details

10 May 2014 - Douglass F. Hoese

20 December 2006 - Douglass F. Hoese


The classification of this order here partly follows that of Nelson (1994) with the inclusion of nine families. Dyer & Chernoff (1996), however, treated the pseudomugilids as a subfamily of the Melanotaeniidae and placed Dentatherina in its own subfamily of the Phallostethidae. Aarn & Ivantsoff (1997) also included Dentatherina within the Phallostethidae. Here, following Nelson (1994) Dentatherina is placed in its own family Dentatherinidae based on Parenti (1984). Nelson (2006), however, presented a classification that is quite different from the one presented here. He included six families: Atherinopsidae (confined to the New World), Melanotaenidae (with subfamilies Melanotaeninae, Bedotiinae — not found in Australia, Pseudomugilinae — treated as a family here and Telmatherininae — not found in Australia), Atherionidae (includes Atherion found in Australia), Phallostethidae (with subfamilies Phallostethinae — not found in Australia and Dentatherininae — treated as a family here) and Atherinidae. Saeed et al. (1994) also discussed relationships. Sparks & Smith (2004) also presented a different classification based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Their study combined Iso into the Notocheiridae and placed Dentatherina within the Phallostethidae, but as a sister group to other genera in the family. Bloom et al. (2012) suggested that Iso was not related to the Notocheiridae. Their study also suggested that many of the currently recognised families were not monophyletic based on molecular studies. Tentatively we accept nine families, with six known from Australia.


General References

Aarn [no initial] & Ivantsoff, W. 1997. Descriptive anatomy of Cairnsichthys rhombosomoides and Iriatherina werneri (Teleostei: Atheriniformes), and a phylogenetic analysis of Melanotaeniidae. Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwater 8(2): 107-250

Bloom, D.D., Unmack, P.J., Gosztonyi, A.E., Piller, K.R. & Lovejoy, N.R. 2012. It's a family matter: Molecular phylogenetics of Atheriniformes and the polyphyly of the surf silversides (Family: Notocheiridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 1025-1030

Dyer, B.S. & Chernoff, B. 1996. Phylogenetic relationships among atheriniform fishes (Teleostei: Atherinomorpha). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 177: 1-69

Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. 2006. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. [Part 2, p. 686]

Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.

Parenti, L. 1984. On the relationships of phallostethid fishes (Atherinomorpha), with notes on the anatomy of Phallostethus dunckeri Regan, 1913. American Museum Novitates 2779: 1-12

Saeed, B., Ivantsoff, W. & Crowley, L.E.L.M. 1994. Systematic relationships of atheriniform families within division I of the series Atherinomorpha (Acanthopterygii) with relevant historical perspectives. Journal of Ichthyology 34(9): 27-72 [original in Russian in Voprosy Ikhtiologii 34(5): 579-610]

Sparks, J.S. & Smith, W.L. 2004. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Malagasy and Australasian rainbowfishes (Teleostei: Melanotaenioidei): Gondwanan vicariance and evolution in freshwater. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33: 719–734


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
21-Jul-2014 ATHERINIFORMES 14-Jul-2014 MODIFIED Dr Doug Hoese
12-Feb-2010 (import)