Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 2, pp 311–326 | Cite as

Phylogeny and biogeography of Sicydiinae (Teleostei: Gobiidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear genes

  • P. KeithEmail author
  • C. Lord
  • J. Lorion
  • S. Watanabe
  • K. Tsukamoto
  • A. Couloux
  • A. Dettai
Original Paper


In the Indo-Pacific area, the Caribbean region and West Africa, insular systems are colonised by particular Gobiids of the Sicydiinae subfamily. These species spawn in freshwater, the free embryos drift downstream to the sea where they undergo a planktonic phase, before returning to rivers to grow and reproduce; an amphidromous lifestyle. These gobies are the biggest contributors to the diversity of fish communities in insular systems and have the highest levels of endemism, yet their phylogeny has not been explored before with molecular data. To understand the phylogeny and the biogeography of this subfamily, sequences from the mitochondrial 16S rDNA and cytochrome oxidase I and from the nuclear rhodopsin gene were obtained for 50 Sicydiinae specimens of seven genera. Our results support the monophyly of the subfamily and of all the genera except Sicyopus, which is polyphyletic. Five major clades were identified within this subfamily. One clade clusters Sicyopterus and Sicydium as sister genera, one contains the genus Stiphodon split into two different groups, two other clades include only Sicyopus (Smilosicyopus) and Cotylopus, respectively, and the last clade groups Akihito, Lentipes and Sicyopus (Sicyopus). As a result, the subgenus Smilosicyopus is elevated herein as a genus. A molecular dating approach helps the interpretation of these phylogenetic results in terms of amphidromy and biogeographical events that have allowed the Sicydiinae to colonise the Indo-Pacific, West African and Caribbean islands.


Indian Ocean Pacific Ocean Maximum Parsimony Larval Duration Parsimony Informative Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Firstly, we would like to thank all the partners that have financially supported this work: the New Caledonian Government and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle of Paris (PPF Structure et Evolution des Ecosystèmes and Leg Prevost) for C. Lord’s PhD fellowship; the BIONEOCAL ANR and the “Fondation de France”. We also thank the Vanuatu Environment Unit (D. Kalfatak) and the New Caledonian North and South Provinces (J-J. Cassan, J. Manauté and C. Méresse) for allowing sampling (permit No 1224-08/PS). This work was supported by the ‘Consortium National de Recherche en Génomique’, and the ‘Service de Systématique Moléculaire’ of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (IFR 101). It is part of the agreement number 2005/67 between the Genoscope and the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle on the project ‘Macrophylogeny of life’ directed by G. Lecointre. This study was made possible with the assistance for sampling expeditions or with the help of many colleagues working in all the areas studied: G. Marquet, E. Vigneux, J. Keith, D. Kalfatak, D. Labrousse, C. Flouhr, I. Yahaya, R. Galzin, A. Jenkins, P. Lim, K. Maeda, Dr Mukai, D. Monti, F. Pezold, G. Ségura, J. Atherton, R. Nari, C. Butin, S. Lavoué, P. Valade and P. Bosc. Finally, we want to extend our thanks to D. Lord, native English speaker, for rereading this manuscript. This paper was improved by the comments of B. Santer and two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Keith
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Lord
    • 1
    • 4
  • J. Lorion
    • 2
  • S. Watanabe
    • 4
  • K. Tsukamoto
    • 4
  • A. Couloux
    • 5
  • A. Dettai
    • 3
  1. 1.Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, DMPA, UMR 7208, IchtyologieParis cedex 05France
  2. 2.Marine Ecosystems Research Department, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)YokosukaJapan
  3. 3.Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Systématique et Evolution, UMR 7138, Service de Systématique MoléculaireParis cedex 05France
  4. 4.Atmosphere and Ocean Research InstituteThe University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 KashiwanohaKashiwa, ChibaJapan
  5. 5.Genoscope, Centre National de SéquençageEvry cedexFrance

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