The king mackerel is not a mackerel

Updated April 24, 2021
with a revision of the ray fin subset of the LRT

The king mackerel
(genus: Scomberomorus; Figs. 1, 2) enters the large reptile tree, LRT, 1643+ taxa) next to the deep sea scabbard fish (Aphanopus; Fig. 3), not the mackerel, Scomber, which entered the LRT a few days ago.

Figure 1. Scomberomorus cavalli is derived from barracuda and gives rise to seahorses and other taxa.

Figure 1. Scomberomorus cavalli is derived from barracuda and gives rise to seahorses and other taxa.

Scomberomorus cavalla (Cuvier 1829; 60cm) is the extant king mackeral or kingfish. King mackerals are derived from Sphyraena + Esox (barracuda and pike) in the LRT. Beside Aphanopus (Fig. 3), the king mackerel is basal to: flying fish + swordfish and  another branch: sticklebacks + sea horses.

Figure 2. Scomberomorus again, this time with the jugal highlighted in cyan.

Figure 2. Scomberomorus again, this time with the jugal highlighted in cyan.

The addition of this more plesiomorphic taxon
to the LRT makes the nesting of the more derived Aphanopus (Figs, 3, 4), a deep water taxon more understandable. Evidently, the LRT is still working, no matter what it has to work with, whether rare and autapomorphic deep sea taxa or common and plesiomorphic open ocean taxa.

Figure 3. Meter-long Aphanopus, the black scabbard fish, has a long, eel-like torso tipped with a tiny diphycercal tail.

Figure 3. Meter-long Aphanopus, the black scabbard fish, has a long, eel-like torso tipped with a tiny diphycercal tail.

Careful readers will note
the addition of several fish taxa (Fig. 4) shifted several traditional chondrichthyans to the lineage of bony fish, like Doliodus and Iniopteryx, helping to settle that long-standing issue of the genesis of bony fish.

For returning readers, a reminder,
the fish skulls pictured here (e.g. Fig. 2) or in ReptileEvolution.com have been given tetrapod homology colors (pink for nasals, yellow for premaxillae, etc.), which enables the homologies discussed here. Years ago these colors were not standardized, but lately this practice has been maintained.


References
Cuvier GCLD 1829. Le Règne Animal distribué d’apres son organisation, pour servir de base a l’histoire naturelle des animaux et d’introduction a l’anatomie comparée. Avec figures dessinées d’après nature. Nouvelle édition, revue et augmentée. Tome V. Suite et fin des Insectes. Par M. Latreille. Déterville & Crochard, Paris, i-xxiv + 556pp.

wiki/Black_scabbardfish
wiki/King_mackerel
wiki/Scomber

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