Context of diversification of the viviparous Gyrodactylidae (Platyhelminthes, Monogenoidea)

Walter A. Boeger*, Delane C. Kritsky, Marcio R. Pie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Using four criteria proposed a decade ago by Brooks & McLennan to identify a case of adaptive radiation indicates that the evolutionary history of the viviparous clade of the Gyrodactylidae is dominated by nonvicariant processes. The viviparous clade, with 446 species, has significantly more species than its sister clade (one species), and high species richness was shown to be an apomorphic trait of only the viviparous gyrodactylids within the Gyrodactylidae. Reconciliation of the phylogenetic tree of the viviparous Gyrodactylidae with that of its hosts showed a low probability for cospeciation suggesting that adaptive modes of speciation and not vicariance were predominant during the historical diversification of the clade. The proposed hypothesis suggests that the Gyrodactylidae originated on the South American continent about 60 Mya after geographical dispersal and host switching of its common ancestor to demersal freshwater catfishes by a marine ancestor. Development of hyperviviparity and the consequent loss of 'sticky' eggs in conjunction with other symplesiomorphic and apomorphic features allowed rapid diversification coupled with high dispersal to new host groups and geographical areas by viviparous members of the Gyrodactylidae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-448
Number of pages12
JournalZoologica Scripta
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Context of diversification of the viviparous Gyrodactylidae (Platyhelminthes, Monogenoidea)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this