This suborder includes families of coastal marine and freshwater species. Although authors have traditionally placed six families in Labroidei (Nelson 1994, 2006), we recognise four in this work.
Johnson (1993) questioned the evidence of the monophyly of the group as defined by Kaufman & Liem (1982). Three of the traditionally recognised families (Labridae, Scaridae and Odacidae) do appear to be a monophyletic group. Recent studies, however, have indicated that scarids and odacids are more closely related to some labrids than others, leaving the Labridae, as traditionally recognised, paraphyletic (see Clements et al. 2004; Westneat & Alfaro 2005). Consequently we place these traditionally recognised groups as subfamilies of the Labridae until relationships are better determined to allow a more phylogenetic classification.
Clements, K.D., Alfaro, M.E., Fessler, J.L. & Westneat, M.W. 2004. Relationships of the temperate Australasian labrid fish tribe Odacini (Perciformes; Teleostei). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 575-587
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