Mickle 2018 described an exquisite, tiny,
Upper Mississippian fish from West Virginia. Bluefieldius mercerensis (Mickle 2018, Late Mississippian, KUVP 155843; Figs. 1, 2) was originally described without a phylogenetic analysis.
From the abstract
“The description of this new taxon represents the first actinopterygian and the first vertebrate body fossil described from the Bluefield Formation and the second actinopterygian taxon described from the Mauch Chunk Group in West Virginia.”
Mickle 2018 reports,
“B. mercerensis n. gen. n. sp. differs from other Carboniferous fishes in specific cranial characteristics. Lower actinopterygian fishes are characterized by a great deal of anatomic and taxonomic diversity that is not well understood. We have neither a stable classification scheme nor strongly supported hypotheses of relationships for lower actinopterygian fishes.”
That was true back then in 2018. Now that the LRT includes a wide gamut of fish taxa the LRT provides that stable classification scheme.
Mickle did not perform a phylogenetic analysis,
but preferred to list traits that marked this taxon. As you know, this is called, “Pulling a Larry Martin,” Some traits were mismarked by Mickle 2018 (Fig. 2) relative to traits traced here based on tetrapod homologs.
Mickle KE 2018. A new lower actinopterygian fish from the Upper Mississippian Bluefield Formation of West Virginia, USA. PeerJ 6:e5533; DOI 10.7717/peerj.5533