Searching for larval support for majoid families (Crustacea : Brachyura) with particular reference to Inachoididae Dana, 1851

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2003-03-01

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Int Science Services/balaban Publishers

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We re-evaluated the larval support for families within majoids using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test with emphasis on Inachoididae. To accomplish our objectives, we added 10 new taxa, two of which are traditionally assigned to the family of special interest, to a previous larval database for majoids, and re-appraised the larval characters used in earlier studies. Phylogenetic analysis was performed with PAUP* using the heuristic search with 50 replicates or the branch-and-bound algorithm when possible. Multi-state transformation series were considered unordered; initially characters were equally weighted followed by successive weighting, and trees were rooted at the Oregoniidae node. Ten different topological constraints were enforced for families to evaluate tree length under the assumption of monophyly for each taxonomic entity. Our results showed that the tree length of most constrained topologies was not considerably greater than that of unconstrained analysis in which most families nested as paraphyletic taxa. This may indicate that the present larval database does not provide strong support for paraphyly of the taxa in question. For Inachoididae, although the Wilcoxon signed-rank test rejected a significant difference between unconstrained and constrained cladograms, we were unable to provide a single synapomorphy for this clade. Except for the conflicting position of Leurocyclus and Stenorhynchus, the two clades correspond to the traditional taxonomic arrangement. Among inachoidids, the clade (Anasimus (Paradasygyius (Collodes + Pyromaia))) is supported, whereas for inachids, the clade (Inachus (Macropodia + Achaeus)) is one of the most supported clades within majids. As often stated, only additional characters will provide a better test for the monophyly of Inachoididae and other families within Majoidea.

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Invertebrate Reproduction & Development. Rehovot: Int Science Services/balaban Publishers, v. 43, n. 1, p. 71-82, 2003.

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