Title

Phylogeny of Comatulidae (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida): A New Classification and an Assessment of Morphological Characters for Crinoid Taxonomy

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2014

Publication Title

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

Keywords

Comasteridae, Crinoid, Feather star, Taxonomy, Systematics, Phylogeny

ISSN

1055-7903

Volume

80

First Page

319

Last Page

339

Abstract

Comatulidae Fleming, 1828 (previously, and incorrectly, Comasteridae A.H. Clark, 1908a), is a group of feather star crinoids currently divided into four accepted subfamilies, 21 genera and approximately 95 nominal species. Comatulidae is the most commonly-encountered and species-rich crinoid group on shallow tropical coral reefs, particularly in the Indo-western Pacific region (IWP). We conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the group with concatenated data from up to seven genes for 43 nominal species spanning 17 genera and all subfamilies. Basal nodes returned low support, but maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian analyses were largely congruent, permitting an evaluation of current taxonomy and analysis of morphological character transformations. Two of the four current subfamilies were paraphyletic, whereas 15 of the 17 included genera returned as monophyletic. We provide a new classification with two subfamilies, Comatulinae and Comatellinae n. subfamily Summers, Messing, & Rouse, the former containing five tribes. We revised membership of analyzed genera to make them all clades and erected Anneissia n. gen. Summers, Messing, & Rouse. Transformation analyses for morphological features generally used in feather star classification (e.g., ray branching patterns, articulations) and those specifically for Comatulidae (e.g., comb pinnule form, mouth placement) were labile with considerable homoplasy. These traditional characters, in combination, allow for generic diagnoses, but in most cases we did not recover apomorphies for subfamilies, tribes, and genera. New morphological characters that will be informative for crinoid taxonomy and identification are still needed. DNA sequence data currently provides the most reliable method of identification to the species-level for many taxa of Comatulidae.Comatulidae Fleming, 1828 (previously, and incorrectly, Comasteridae A.H. Clark, 1908a), is a group of feather star crinoids currently divided into four accepted subfamilies, 21 genera and approximately 95 nominal species. Comatulidae is the most commonly-encountered and species-rich crinoid group on shallow tropical coral reefs, particularly in the Indo-western Pacific region (IWP). We conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the group with concatenated data from up to seven genes for 43 nominal species spanning 17 genera and all subfamilies. Basal nodes returned low support, but maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, and Bayesian analyses were largely congruent, permitting an evaluation of current taxonomy and analysis of morphological character transformations. Two of the four current subfamilies were paraphyletic, whereas 15 of the 17 included genera returned as monophyletic. We provide a new classification with two subfamilies, Comatulinae and Comatellinae n. subfamily Summers, Messing, & Rouse, the former containing five tribes. We revised membership of analyzed genera to make them all clades and erected Anneissia n. gen. Summers, Messing, & Rouse. Transformation analyses for morphological features generally used in feather star classification (e.g., ray branching patterns, articulations) and those specifically for Comatulidae (e.g., comb pinnule form, mouth placement) were labile with considerable homoplasy. These traditional characters, in combination, allow for generic diagnoses, but in most cases we did not recover apomorphies for subfamilies, tribes, and genera. New morphological characters that will be informative for crinoid taxonomy and identification are still needed. DNA sequence data currently provides the most reliable method of identification to the species-level for many taxa of Comatulidae.

Comments

NSF grant #s: DEB-1036219, DEB-1036368

DOI

10.1016/j.ympev.2014.06.030

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