Evolutionary history of the parrotfishes: biogeography, ecomorphology, and comparative diversity.
JT Streelman, M Alfaro, MW Westneat, DR Bellwood, SA Karl
Evolution | Published : 2002
The family Scaridae comprises about 90 species of herbivorous coral reef, rock reef, and seagrass fishes. Parrotfishes are important agents of marine bioerosion who rework the substrate with their beaklike oral jaws. Many scarid populations are characterized by complex social systems including highly differentiated sexual stages, territoriality, and the defense of harems. Here, we test a hypothesis of relationships among parrotfish genera derived from nearly 2 kb of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence. The DNA tree is different than a phylogeny based on comparative morphology and leads to important reinterpretations of scarid evolution. The molecular data suggest a split among seagrass an..View full abstract