Recent literature on mormyrid systematics includes Taverne’s taxonomic revision of the family based on osteology (Taverne, 1969; 1971 a; 1971 b; 1972), Bigorne's (1990a) review of the mormyrids of West Africa and revision of Brienomyrus, Pollimyrus, Isichthys and Mormyrops of that region (Bigorne, 1987; 1989; 1990 b), Boden et al.’s (1997) revision of the Marcusenius of Central Africa with eight circumpeduncular scales, Jégu and Lévêque’s (1984) study of Marcusenius of West Africa, and Harder's (2000) published CD-ROM with descriptions and photos of all existing types of specimens of Mormyridae. Despite this recent work, the monophyly of several genera remains poorly supported.
Most of the foregoing work is not explicitly phylogenetic, and only recent molecular studies have provided a well supported tree for the major mormyrid lineages (Alves-Gomes & Hopkins, 1997, Lavoué et al. 2000, Sullivan et al. 2000, Lavoué et al. 2003). Points of agreement between the morphological work of Taverne and the molecular studies are 1) the monophyly of Mormyridae, 2) the sistergroup relationship between Mormyridae and Gymnarchus niloticus, and 3) the basal division of the family into two subfamilies: Mormyrinae and Petrocephalinae, with the latter containing only Petrocephalus.
Another recent development is the use of electric organ discharge (EOD) recordings for species discovery and diagnosis within certain genera (Sullivan et al., 2002; Lavoué et al., 2004). Certain aspects of the EOD appear to be phylogenetically conserved, while others are more variable (Alves-Gomes, 1999; Sullivan & Hopkins, 2001; Sullivan et al., 2000).
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