Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Compiler and date details

2 July 2017 - Dianne J. Bray, John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Douglass F. Hoese, Matthew M. Lockett & Ursula E. Smith

26 February 2015 - Dianne J. Bray, John R. Paxton, Jennifer E. Gates, Douglass F. Hoese & Ursula E. Smith


The syngnathiform families were traditionally included in the Gasterosteiformes which comprised up to 11 families (Pietsch 1978; Fritzsche 1984; Johnson & Patterson 1993; Orr 1995; Takata & Sasaki 2000; Nelson 2006; Keivany & Nelson 2006; Paxton et al. 2006; and Wiley & Johnson 2010). However, recent molecular studies have found the gasterosteiforms to be paraphyletic (Kawahara et al. 2008; Betancur-R et al. 2013; Betancur-R et al. 2014). Studies to 2010 are discussed in Wilson & Orr (2011). Here we follow in part the most recent work of Betancur-R et al. (2014) in placing the families Aulostomidae, Centriscidae, Fistulariidae, Pegasidae, Solenostomidae and Syngnathidae in the Syngnathiformes until relationships are further resolved. Betancur-R et al. (2014) also included the Callionymidae, Dactylopteridae and Mullidae in the syngnathiforms. Paxton et al. (2006) and Gomon (2008) included the genera Centriscops, Macroramphosus and Notopogon in the family Macroramphosidae, while here they are placed in the family Centriscidae, following Eschmeyer & Fong (2015).

Most species occur in coastal estuarine or marine environments, and a few commonly enter both fresh and marine waters. Some are taken as bycatch in commercial trawls. Most species are treated in Kuiter (2009).


General References

Betancur-R, R., Broughton, R.E., Wiley, E.O., Carpenter, K., López, J.A., Li, C., Holcroft, N.I., Arcila, D., Sanciangco, M., Cureton, II J.C., Zhang, F., Buser, T &, Campbell, M.A., Ballesteros, J.A., Roa-Varon, A., Willis, S., Borden, W.C., Rowley, T., Reneau, P.C., Hough, D.J., Lu, G., Grande, T., Arratia, G. & Ortí, G. 2013. The tree of life and a new classification of bony fishes. PLOS Currents Tree of Life Edition 1: doi: 10.1371/currents.tol.53ba26640df0ccaee75bb165c8c26288

Betancur-R, R., Wiley, E., Bailly, N, Miya, M., Lecointre, G. & Ortí, G. 2014. Phylogenetic Classification of Bony Fishes —Version 3.

Eschmeyer, W.N. & Fong, J.D. 7 January 2015. Species by family/subfamily in the Catalog of Fishes.

Fritzsche, R.A. 1984. Gasterosteiformes: development and relationships. pp. 398-405 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Macroramphosidae. pp. 480-484 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Johnson, G.D. & Patterson, C. 1993. Percomorph phylogeny: a survey of acanthomorphs and a new proposal. Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 554-626

Kawahara, R., Miya, M., Mabuchi, K., Lavoue, S., Inoue, J.G., Takashi, P., Kawaguchi, A. & Nishida, M. 2008. Interrelationships of the 11 gasterosteiform families (sticklebacks, pipefishes, and their relatives): A new perspective based on mitogenome sequences from 75 higher teleosts. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46(1): 224–236

Keivany, Y. & J. Nelson 2006. Interrelationships of Gasterosteiformes (Actinopterygii, Percomorpha). Journal of Ichthyology 46(Suppl. 1): S84-S96

Kuiter, R.H. 2009. Seahorses and their relatives. Seaford, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 331.

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

Orr, J.W. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships of Gasterosteiform fishes (Teleostei: Acanthomorpha). PhD Thesis, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Paxton, J.R., Gates, J.E., Bray, D.J. & Hoese, D.F. 2006. Macroramphosidae. pp. 851-855 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. 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.

Paxton, J.R., J.E. Gates, D.J. Bray & D.F. Hoese. 2006. Gasterosteiformes. pp. in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. 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.

Pietsch, T.W. 1978. Evolutionary relationships of the seamoths (Teleostei : Pegasidae) with a classification of gasterosteiform families. Copeia 1978(3): 517-529 figs 1-15 [517]

Takata, Y. & K. Sasaki. 2005. Branchial structures in the Gasterosteiformes, with special reference to myology and phylogenetic implications. Ichthyological Research 52(1): 33-49

Wiley, E.O. & Johnson, G.D. 2010. A teleost classification based on monophyletic groups. pp. 123-182 in Nelson, J.S., Schultze, H.-P. & Wilson, M.V.H. Origin and Phylogenetic Interrelationships of Teleosts. München, Germany : Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil 480 pp.

Wilson, A.B. & Orr, J.W. 2011. The evolutionary origins of Syngnathidae: pipefishes and seahorses. Journal of Fish Biology 78(6): 1603–1623


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)
25-Jun-2015 SYNGNATHIFORMES 27-Feb-2015 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)