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Staff involved:

Alasdair Edwards, Tony Gill (Arizona State University, USA)  

Pectinochromis lubbocki (Edwards & Randall, 1983), a Red Sea endemic pseudoplesiopine.

Systematics and phylogeny of pseudoplesiopine dottyback fishes (Pseudochromidae)


The Pseudochromidae is a family of small, reef-associated fishes, the colourful members of which are prized by aquarists. The family is currently divided into four subfamiles: Anisochrominae, Congrogadinae, Pseudochrominae and Pseudoplesiopinae. The monophyly of the Pseudoplesiopinae has been questioned and the phylogenetic relationships of its genera have been unclear. We have been investigating these relationships and have shown that the Pseudoplesiopinae is a monophyletic group, diagnosed by six unequivocal autapomorphies. We have described three new genera: Pectinochromis, Amsichthys and Lubbockichthys and recognise two existing genera: Pseudoplesiops Bleeker (of which Nematochromis Weber is a junior synonym) and Chlidichthys Smith (of which Wamizichthys Smith is a junior synonym).

Pectinochromis (type-species Pseudoplesiops lubbocki Edwards & Randall), with a single nominal species, is diagnosed by 5 autapomorphies, Amsichthys (type-species Pseudoplesiops knighti Allen), with a single nominal species, is diagnosed by 4 autapomorphies, and Lubbockichthys (type-species Pseudoplesiops multisquamatus Allen), with a single nominal species, is diagnosed by 4 autapomorphies. A parsimony analysis of various characters of the laterosensory system, caudal skeleton, dorsal-fin osteology, and fin-ray branching supports the following relationships: (Lubbockichthys ((Amsichthys + Pseudoplesiops) (Chlidichthys + Pectinochromis).

Cladogram of relationships between pseudoplesiopine genera.


The pseudochromids are a very speciose group with great potential for investigation of zoogeographical relationships. With a clear understanding of their taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships we can begin to study the historical biogeographical processes which contributed to their speciation and the patterns of distribution of the present day species.


Gill AC, Edwards AJ (2006) Lubbockichthys myersi, a new species of dottyback fish from Guam (Pseudochromidae: Pseudoplesiopinae). Zootaxa, 1320: 43-48.

Gill AC, Edwards AJ (2004). Revision of the Indian Ocean dottyback fish genera Chlidichthys and Pectinochromis (Perciformes: Pseudochromidae: Pseudoplesiopinae). Smithiana, Bulletin 3: 1-47.

Gill AC, Edwards AJ (2003). Pseudoplesiops wassi, new species of pseudoplesiopine dottyback (Teleostei: Pseudochromidae: Pseudoplesiopinae) from the West Pacific. Zootaxa, 291: 1-7.

Gill AC, Edwards AJ (2002). Two new species of the Indo-Pacific fish genus Pseudoplesiops (Perciformes: Pseudochromidae: Pseudoplesiopinae). Bulletin of the Natural History Museum, London (Zoology), 68(1): 19-26.

Gill AC, Edwards AJ (1999). Monophyly, interrelationships and description of three new genera in the dottyback fish subfamily Pseudoplesiopinae (Teleostei: Perciformes: Pseudochromidae). Records of the Australian Museum, 51: 141-160.

Gill AC, Randall JE, Edwards AJ (1991). Pseudoplesiops collare, a new species of fish from Indonesia, with lectotype designation for Nematochromis annae Weber (Perciformes: Pseudochromidae: Pseudoplesiopinae). Revue franšais d'Aquariologie 18 (3): 75-78.

Edwards AJ, Randall JE (1983). A new dottyback of the genus Pseudoplesiops (Teleostei: Perciformes: Pseudochromidae) from the Red Sea. Revue franšais d'Aquariologie 9: 111-114.