The Gobioidei is one of the largest groups of fish with about 2000 species. The higher classification is still under study and it is likely to change in the future. Previous studies of relationships within the group include those of Miller (1973), Springer (1983), Hoese (1984), Akihito (1986), Birdsong et al. (1988), Harrison (1989), Hoese & Gill (1993), Johnson & Brothers (1993), Akihito et al. (2000), Wang et al. (2001), Thacker (2003) and Thacker & Hardman (2005). Hoese & Gill (1993) recognised the families Rhyacichthyidae, Odontobutidae, Gobiidae, Kraemeriidae, Xenisthmidae and Microdesmidae. The Gobiidae were split into three subfamilies Butinae, Eleotridinae and Gobiinae. Hoese & Gill (1993) were not able to show monophyly for the Butinae and they suggested that some of the other families may prove not to be distinct. Johnson & Brothers (1993) assigned Schlinderliidae to the suborder. Wang et al. (2001) provided some evidence for monophyly of the Butinae based on molecular work. Thacker & Hardman (2005) also provided evidence, based on molecular work, for monophyly of the Butinae, but as a sister group to the Gobiinae and distinct from the Eleotridinae. They also indicated that the blind cave genus from Australia, Milyeringa, might be an odontobutid and that the Xenisthmidae belong with the Gobiinae. Nelson (1994) followed Hoese & Gill (1993), but recognised the Eleotridae (subfamilies Butinae and Eleotridinae) separate from the family Gobiidae, and subsequently (2006) recognised the Ptereleotrinae as a separate family from the Microdesmidae. We retain the classification of Nelson (1994) here, pending publication of morphological studies of R. Mooi and A. Gill.
Species are common in fresh waters and marine environments throughout the world, absent only from the Arctic and Antarctic. In the sea, species are known from a variety of habitats, including mangroves, coral and rock reefs, and the continental shelf and slope to depths of over 800 m.
Akihito, P. 1986. Some morphological characters considered to be important in gobiid phylogeny. pp. 629-639 in Uyeno, T., Arai, R., Taniuchi, T. & Matsuura, K. (eds). Indo-Pacific Fish Biology. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Indo-Pacific Fishes. Tokyo : Ichthyological Society of Japan 985 pp.
Akihito, P., Iwata, A., Kobayashi, T., Ikeo, K., Imanishi, T., Ono, H., Umehara, Y., Hamamatsu, C., Sugiyama, K., Ikeda, Y., Sakamoto, K., Fumihito, A., Ohno, S. & Gojobori, T. 2000. Evolutionary aspects of gobioid fishes based upon a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b genes. Gene 259: 5-15
Birdsong, R., Murdy, E.O. & Pezold, F.L. 1988. A study of the vertebral column and median fin osteology in gobioid fishes with comments on gobioid relationships. Bulletin of Marine Science 42(2): 174-214 figs 1-5
Harrison, I.J. 1989. Specialization of the gobioid palatopterygoquadrate complex and its relevance to gobioid systematics. Journal of Natural History 23: 325-353
Hoese, D.F. 1984. Gobioidei: Relationships. 588-591 in Moser, H.G. et al. (eds). Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Special Publication 1: 1-760
Hoese, D.F. & Gill, A. 1993. Phylogenetic relationships of eleotridid fishes (Perciformes: Gobioidei). Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 415-440
Johnson, G.D. & Brothers, E.B. 1993. Schindleria: a paedomorphic goby (Teleostei : Gobioidei). Bulletin of Marine Science 52(1): 441-471 figs 1-12
Miller, P.J. 1973. The osteology and adaptive features of Rhyacichthys aspro (Teleostei: Gobioidei) and the classification of gobioid fishes. Journal of Zoology, London 171: 397-434
Nelson, J.S. 1994. Fishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons 600 pp.
Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.
Springer, V.G. 1983. Tyson belos, new genus and species of western Pacific fish (Gobiidae, Xenisthminae), with discussions of gobioid osteology and classification. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 390: 1-40
Thacker, C.E. 2003. Molecular phylogeny of the gobioid fishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 26(3): 354-368
Thacker, C.E. & Hardman, M.A. 2005. Molecular phylogeny of basal gobioid fishes: Rhyacichthyidae, Odontobutidae, Xenisthmidae, Eleotridae (Teleostei: Perciformes: Gobioidei). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37: 851-871
Wang, H.Y., Tsai, M.P., Dean, J. & Lee, S.C. 2001. Molecular phylogeny of gobioid fishes (Perciformes : Gobioidei) based on mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20(3): 390-408
History of changes
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