Molecular phylogeny and biogeographic history of the Neotropical tribe Glandulocaudini (Characiformes: Characidae: Stevardiinae)

ABSTRACT Although former studies on systematics and biogeography represent a progress on the knowledge of the tribe Glandulocaudini, none was grounded on molecular evidence. Thus, the first hypothesis of relationships for the tribe based on a multilocus analysis is presented, including all genera and most of the valid species. DNA sequences of Glandulocauda caerulea and Mimagoniates sylvicola were analyzed for the first time. A molecular clock analysis was used to estimate the origin of the Glandulocaudini and the approximate timing of cladogenetic events within the group. Glandulocaudini was recovered as monophyletic. No hypothesis recovered Glandulocauda as monophyletic, since G. melanopleura is sister to Lophiobrycon weitzmani while G. caerulea is closely related to Mimagoniates. The relationships within the latter genus were resolved. The molecular clock results indicate the origin of the Glandulocaudini during the Miocene with diversification in the group occurring from Neogene to Pleistocene. These results corroborated the hypothesis that its origin took place on the Brazilian crystalline shield with the subsequent occupation of the Atlantic Coastal drainages. Apparently, Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations might have shaped the distribution pattern of some species in Glandulocaudini.