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[[ Fundulopanchax Myers ]]

Fundulopanchax was originally described by Myers (1924) as a subgenus in Aphyosemion Myers, 1924 ZBK but his diagnostic characters were not adopted in subsequent revisions. On the basis of two synapomorphic characters, Parenti (1981) recognized Fundulopanchax as a monophyletic sister group to Nothobranchius Peters, 1868 ZBK and consequently designated Fundulopanchax as a genus. Van der Zee and Wildekamp (1994) accepted the generic status of Fundulopanchax , but the value of Parenti’s (1981) diagnostic characters was disputed. Additionally, they found four diagnostic characters for the genus Fundulopanchax : chorionic structure (puncti), anal-fin skeleton (lateral processes on anal radialia reduced), otolith morphology and caudal peduncle squamation (16 or more scales, except Paludopanchax Radda, 1977 ZBK ) (see Van der Zee & Wildekamp, 1994). Murphy and Collier (1999), using mitochondrial DNA sequences, corroborated the generic status of Fundulopanchax , but they did not, in most cases, find correlation between the species groups as proposed by Radda (1977) on morphological arguments. In Murphy and Collier (1999), Aphyosemion ZBK is the sister group to Fundulopanchax , whereas in a second molecular genetic study, based on more limited material and focused on the evolution of diapause in New World Rivulidae, by Hrbek and Larson (1999), Aphyosemion ZBK is the sister group to a clade comprised of Fundulopanchax and Nothobranchius ZBK (Fig. 1). Morphological characters discriminate between Aphyosemion ZBK and Fundulopanchax but it should be the subject of a future study if they are apomorphies of a monophyletic group Fundulopanchax , or if in a broader study with the remaining African Nothobranchiidae, they will be assessed as plesiomorphic characters.

The distribution of Fundulopanchax ranges from Côte d’Ivoire to Equatorial Guinea with the highest species diversity in southeastern Nigeria and adjacent southwestern Cameroon (species numbers and distribution see Huber, 2000; Wildekamp, 1996).


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