The monophyly of Citharidae, the pleuronectoid family thought to be a transitional group between the Psettodoidei and other typical pleuronectoids, has been in question mainly because of the lack of recognized synapomorphies for the family. In this study, the citharid skeleton is described, and the monophyly of the family and its phylogenetic position within the Pleuronectoidei are reassessed following a phylogenetic analysis based on 45 osteological, myological, and external characters. The Citharidae was found to represent a monophyletic group, supported by six synapomorphies (e.g., first dorsal proximal radials firmly wedged into notch of blind side lateral ethmoid; anterior dorsal proximal radials tightly mutually attached; blind side posterior nostril considerably enlarged). Two previously recognized subfamilies, sinistral Citharinae and dextral Brachypleurinae, are invalid because of their nonmonophylies. Interrelationships of the pleuronectoids shown herein are discussed.
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