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Through a liquid glass to the eye of the beholder: Visual ecology of coral reef fishes isolated by the Isthmus of Panama, Michele Pierotti [et al.]

Through a liquid glass to the eye of the beholder: Visual ecology of coral reef fishes isolated by the Isthmus of Panama, Michele Pierotti [et al.]

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Time-calibrated Phylogenomic

Reconstruction of Batfishes (Lophiiformes:


Cerise Chen


∗† 1,2

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology [UC Santa Cruz] (EEB) – 1156 High St, Santa

Cruz, CA 95064, United States


Department of Ichthyology[California Academy of Sciences] – 55 Music Concourse Drive, San

Francisco, CA, 94118, United States

Batfishes (family Ogcocephalidae), some described as aliens, are a group of bizarre walking

fishes related to the coral reef frogfishes (family Antennariidae), both belong in the anglerfish

order Lophiiformes. The family Ogcocephalidae contains 10 genera and 78 species, of which 7

genera and 55 species are found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. The family represents one of the

least known lophiiform families, therefore having a solid phylogenetic history available is crucial

to the understanding of the evolutionary history of this group of fish. Even to this date the most

comprehensive molecular phylogeny based on mitochondrial genes and protein-coding nuclear

genes contained less than 20% of all species of Ogcocephalidae. Despite discrepancies between

morphological and molecular phylogeny, both support a monophyletic Ogcocephalidae. The discovery of fossil record of batfishes (Tarkus squirei gen. et sp. nov.) from the late early Eocene

of Monte Bolca may enable the application of coalescent approaches to calibrate divergence estimates for the proposed study. Elucidation of the origin of Ogcocephalidae may also provide an

age estimation as a reference for other lophiiforms and their tree of life, hence I wish to apply

Next-Generation Sequencing tools such as targeted enrichment of ultraconserved nuclear DNA

elements (UCEs) and their flanking regions for time-calibrated phylogenomic reconstruction of

batfishes. Fresh genetic materials of 24 species of Ogcocephalidae and other lophiiforms including members of 4 species of Lophiidae and 2 species of Chaunacidae from Taiwan were obtained,

DNA sampling was also made possible from old museum specimens thus enable archival sampling to be used in revealing the evolution of batfishes and their kin.

This is a presentation of a project proposal.


Corresponding author: jchen263@ucsc.edu


Toward resolving complex evolutionary

history of the Indo-West Pacific sergeant

majors (Pomacentridae: Abudefduf )

Wei-Jen Chen


∗ 1

Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University (IO NTU) – No.1 Sec. 4 Roosevelt Rd. Taipei

10617, Taiwan

The Indo-West Pacific (IWP) is the Earth’s tropical largest marine biogeographical region.

Actually, over 3000 reef fish species have been recorded in this region whereas the total species

richness is only a few hundreds in the outer regions of the IWP. Although its rich biodiversity

has been documented for many years, the comprehensive surveys from various groups in this

region are still needed to reach conclusions on the major evolutionary patterns and processes

at play. With around 360 extant species found in all tropical seas, mostly in the IWP, the

Pomacentridae is the one of the diverse and mostly abundant fish groups inhabiting coral reefs.

This makes it suitable to a comparative study in phylogeny and biogeography to document the

origins and patterns of diversification in time and space. In our research, the sergeant-majors

living in the IWP are targeted. An integrated approach based on the DNA sequence variations

obtained from classical Sanger sequencing and state-of-art Next Generation sequencing methods

were used to investigate their population structure, phylogeography, and phylogenetics. The

results from our recent paper (Bertrand et al. 2017 in Mol. Ecol.) based on the data from

one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes demonstrated that three regional sublineages in A.

sexfasciatus are present and the other species, A. vaigiensis, is polyphyletic and consists of three

distinct genetic lineages (A, B and C) whose geographic ranges overlap. Although A. vaigiensis

A and A. sexfasciatus were found to be distinct based on nuclear information, A. vaigiensis A

was found to be nested within A. sexfasciatus in the mitochondrial gene tree. A. sexfasciatus

from the Coral Triangle region and A. vaigiensis A were not differentiated from each other at the

mitochondrial locus. In this presenting paper, the extended datasets with the sequences from

whole mitogenomes, additional nuclear genes, and ddRAD for the IWP sergeant-majors were

constructed. The analytical results confirm our previous discoveries and reveal another case of

mito-nuclear discordance, which implies an ancient mitogenomic introgression happened in their

evolutionary history. Finally, the developed SNP markers through the NGS will be presented

and their unity for the prospective research will be discussed.



Understanding Anti-Tropical Distributions

in Centrarchiformes

William Ludt

∗ 1

, Christopher Burridge 2 , Thomas Near 3 , Prosanta

Chakrabarty 4



Louisiana State University (LSU) – 119 Foster Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

70806, United States


University of Tasmania (UTAS) – School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart,

Tasmania 7001, Australia


Yale University – Department of Ecology Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT,

United States

Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science (LSU) – Louisiana State University Museum of

Natural Science, United States

The order Centrarchiformes contains 18 families whose relationships have been previously

contested. Within this order there are several examples of anti-tropical distributions – a pattern

where closely related groups occur on opposite sides of the tropics, yet are absent within. Several

mechanisms have been proposed to explain this distribution pattern, yet the ultimate causes are

still unknown for many species. Centrarchiformes, which contains anti-tropical distributions at

different taxonomic levels, can be a model system for understanding this biogeographic pattern. Here we take a phylogenomic approach using over 500 ultraconserved elements to broadly

examine the relationships among Centrarchiformes. We then used this dataset to focus on antitropicality within a single Indo-Pacific family, Cheilodactylidae. Our data strongly support a

polyphyletic Cheilodactylidae, with the two South African species of Cheilodactylus forming a

clade distantly related to the remaining species within the genus. We then used this phylogeny

to specifically examine anti-tropical divergences within the remaining members of this genus,

which primarily inhabit temperate rocky reef habitats in the southern Pacific, with four species

occurring in the northern hemisphere. Using multiple fossil calibrations, we time calibrated

our phylogeny to determine the timing of anti-tropical divergence events within this clade. We

used this calibrated tree, coupled with stochastic character mapping, as well as multiple biogeographic models, to determine the fit of our data to the mechanisms proposed for anti-tropical

distributions. Northern hemisphere species do not form a monophyletic group, suggesting multiple equatorial divergence events for these species. We find evidence supporting late Miocene

and Plio/Pleistocene divergence events across the tropics explaining the multiple invasions of the

northern hemisphere. Together with our biogeographic models, our data suggest that multiple

mechanisms may be responsible for the anti-tropical distribution in this group.



A3/ Integrative approaches in

understanding fish diversity:

Morphology, Systematics, and



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Through a liquid glass to the eye of the beholder: Visual ecology of coral reef fishes isolated by the Isthmus of Panama, Michele Pierotti [et al.]

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