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Article
Phylogeny of Comatulidae (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida): A New Classification and an Assessment of Morphological Characters for Crinoid Taxonomy
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
  • Mindi M. Summers, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Charles G. Messing, Nova Southeastern University
  • Greg W. Rouse, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
11-1-2014
Keywords
  • Comasteridae,
  • Crinoid,
  • Feather star,
  • Taxonomy,
  • Systematics,
  • Phylogeny
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
Citation Information
Mindi M. Summers, Charles G. Messing and Greg W. Rouse. "Phylogeny of Comatulidae (Echinodermata: Crinoidea: Comatulida): A New Classification and an Assessment of Morphological Characters for Crinoid Taxonomy" Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Vol. 80 (2014) p. 319 - 339 ISSN: 1055-7903
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/charles-messing/58/