Analysis of a morphological dataset containing 152 parsimony-informative characters yielded the first phylogenetic reconstruction spanning the South American characiform family Anostomidae. The reconstruction included 46 ingroup species representing all anostomid genera and subgenera. Outgroup comparisons included members of the sister group to the Anostomidae (the Chilodontidae) as well as members of the families Curimatidae, Characidae, Citharinidae, Distichodontidae, Hemiodontidae, Parodontidae and Prochilodontidae. The results supported a clade containing Anostomus, Gnathodolus, Pseudanos, Sartor and Synaptolaemus (the subfamily Anostominae sensu Winterbottom) albeit with a somewhat different set of relationships among the species within these genera. Anostomus as previously recognized was found to be paraphyletic and is split herein into two monophyletic components, a restricted Anostomus and the new genus Petulanos gen. nov., described herein. Laemolyta appeared as sister to the clade containing Anostomus, Gnathodolus, Petulanos, Pseudanos, Sartor and Synaptolaemus. Rhytiodus and Schizodon together formed a well-supported clade that was, in turn, sister to the clade containing Anostomus, Gnathodolus, Laemolyta, Petulanos, Pseudanos, Sartor and Synaptolaemus. Anostomoides was sister to the clade formed by these nine genera. Leporinus as currently defined was not found to be monophyletic, although certain clades within that genus were supported, including the species with subterminal mouths in the former subgenus Hypomasticus which we recognize herein as a genus. Abramites nested in Leporinus, and Leporellus was found to be the most basal anostomid genus. The presence of cis- and trans-Andean species in Abramites, Leporellus, Leporinus and Schizodon, all relatively basal genera, suggests that much of the diversification of anostomid species pre-dates the uplift of the Andean Cordilleras circa 11.8 million years ago. Several important morphological shifts in anostomid evolution are illustrated and discussed, including instances of convergence and reversal. (C) 2008 The Linnean Society of London.
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