Revisiting the bonefish, Albula

Revised March 13, 2020
with new comparisons to Flagellipinna and Salmo.

Albula facial bones
(Fig. 1) have been reidentified and now this taxon nests with the long-nosed coral nipper and triggerfish mimic, Flagellipinna (Fig. 3), Like other primitive fish, Albula has 31+ presacral vertebrae. Derived fish have fewer and sometimes far fewer presacral vertebrae. In Albula the pelvic fins are located posteriorly. Derived fish have anterior pelvic fins, sometimes beneath and between the pectoral fins.

Figure 1. Albula vulpes skull with highly derived facial bones reidentified here. Note the lateral premaxillary processes and 'floating' cheek bones. Green vertebrae are caudals.

Figure 1. Albula vulpes skull with highly derived facial bones reidentified here. Note the lateral premaxillary processes and ‘floating’ cheek bones. Green vertebrae are caudals.

Albula vulpes (Linneaus 1758; 105cm in length) is the extant bonefish. It feeds on deep seafloor and tidal invertebrates. Note the floating cheekbone, dorsal nares, open rostrum, shark-like premaxilla, and large frontal. The large number of pre-sacral vertebrae is a primitive trait.

Figure 3. Flagellipinna is a sister to the bone fish, Alubula, in the LRT.

Figure 3. Flagellipinna is a sister to the bone fish, Alubula, in the LRT.

Figure x. Updated subset of the LRT, focusing on basal vertebrates = fish.

Figure x. Updated subset of the LRT, focusing on basal vertebrates = fish.

Careful readers will note
the teleost portion of the large reptile tree (LRT, 1656+ taxa) has been changing and improving almost daily based on corrections applied wherever low Bootstrap scores are recovered. That’s what you have to do.


References
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.

wiki/Bonefish – Albula

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