Taxonomy, Distribution, and Evolution of the Percidae


The family Percidae exclusively is native to freshwaters of the Northern Hemisphere, with just two of its genera divided between Eurasia and North America. Percidae comprises 11 genera and an estimated 266–275 species, reaching tremendous species richness in the North American darters. We provide an up-to-date account relating the results of the latest DNA sequence and morphological analyses to resolve the relationships of the family Percidae, including its component genera and species. We provide newly assembled distribution maps for the taxa, and summarize their primary distinguishing morphological characters and life history. For each genus, the latest phylogenetic tree of species relationships is shown and explained. We relate these findings to historic biogeography and contemporary distributions. Just recently, tremendous inroads have been made using new molecular tools and analyses that allow us to begin to understand the tremendous evolutionary diversification of the Percidae, as well as the landscape and climate factors that have shaped these patterns. This information may provide an important indication of the future responses of percid taxa to continued anthropogenic influences.


Percidae Taxonomy Evolution Diversification Biogeography 



This is publication #2015–06 from the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Research Center. Support for our research reported here came from the National Science Foundation NSF GK-12 DGE#0742395, the USEPA #CR-83281401-0, NOAA Ohio Sea Grant R/LR-013, and USDA ARS 3655-31000-020-00D funded to CAS. We greatly appreciate percid samples supplied to us by many collectors, including: the USGS (Bruce Manny, Patrick Kocovsky, Wendylee Stott, Edward Roseman, Jeffrey Williamson), Ohio DNR (Alexander Ford, Ann Marie Gorman, Kevin Kayle, Cary Knight, Roger Knight, Matthew Turner, Jeffrey Tyson, Christopher Vandergoot), Michigan DNR (David Clapp, Robert Haas, Michael Thomas), New York Department of Environmental Conservation (Brian Beckwith, Donald Einhouse), Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (Roger Kenyon), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Christopher Wilson, Timothy Johnson), and from various colleagues including Colin Adams, Louis Bernatchez, Neil Billington, Vasily Boldyrev, John Clay Bruner, Mary Burnham-Curtis, Thomas Busiahn, Igor Grigorovich, Daniel Grul’a, Jeffrey Gunderson, Eric Hallerman, Anjie Hintz, Shaig Ibrahimov, Wolfgang Jansen, Douglas Jensen, Vladimir Kovac, Brandon Kulik, Yuriy Kvach, Ellen Marsden, Christine Mayer, Gregory Moyer, Andrew Naffziger, Matthew Neilson, Douglas Nelson, Camille Nesbø, Vadim Panov, Alex Parker, Webb Pearsall, Lars Rudstam, Mariusz Sapota, Wayne Schaefer, Jim Selgeby, Predrag Simonovic, George Spangler, David L. Stein, Roy Stein, Matthew White, James Williams, Ian Winfield, and Christopher Yoder. The manuscript benefitted from careful critical reviews by John C. Bruner, Guillermo Orti, and William Leo Smith.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Great Lakes Genetics and Genomics Laboratory, Lake Erie Center and Department of Environmental SciencesThe University of ToledoToledoUSA
  2. 2.Museum of Zoology and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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