Combined phylogeny and new classification of catsharks

Published on
03 March 2022

Combined phylogeny and new classification of catsharks (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii: Carcharhiniformes)

Karla D A Soares, Kleber Mathubara


This is the first study to combine morphological and molecular characters to infer the phylogenetic relationships among catsharks. All currently valid genera classified in the family Scyliorhinidae s.l. and representatives of other carcharhinoid families plus one lamnoid and two orectoloboids were included as terminal taxa. A total of 143 morphological characters and 44 NADH2 sequences were analysed. Parsimony analyses under different weighting schemes and strengths were used to generate hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships. The phylogenetic analysis of 78 terminal taxa, using the combined dataset and weighting each column separately (SEP; k = 3) resulted in one most-parsimonious cladogram of 4441 steps with the greatest internal resolution of clades and strongest support. The main changes in nomenclature and classification are the revised definition and scope of Scyliorhinidae, Apristurus and Pentanchus and the revalidation of Atelomycteridae. The monophyly of Pentanchidae is supported, as is that of most catshark genera. Two new subfamilies of the family Pentanchidae are defined: Halaelurinae subfam. nov. and Galeinae subfam. nov. Our analysis emphasizes the relevance of morphological characters in the inference of evolutionary history of carcharhinoids and sheds light on the taxonomic status of some genera in need of further exploration.

Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, zlab108. DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlab108


Leave a Reply