New light on the paleobiogeography of the labyrinth fishes

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Feixiang Wu
Dekui He
Mee-mann Chang
Desui Miao


The labyrinth fishes (Anabantoidei/Anabantiformes) have an African-Asian disjunctive distribution; however, their biogeographical history remains elusive due to the scarcity of their fossil records, especially for the Anabantidae itself, the only anabantoid family with a disjunctive biogeography. A time-calibrated anabantoid phylogeny incorporating both fossil and extant taxa and a likelihood dispersal extinction and cladogenesis (EDC) model in the software package of LAGRANGE were used to infer the ancestral areas of main lineages of the anabantoid fishes. The results suggest that" before "the split of the Asian and African anabantids is a recent event The split of the Asian-African anabantid is a recent event. The traditional drift vicariance hypothesis and the late Cretaceous or early Tertiary dispersal hypotheses are now called into question for the interpretation of the anabantid biogeographical pattern.

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