Series: Records of the Zoological Survey of India Occasional Papers Volume: 58
167 pages, b/w illustrations
From the introduction:
"Cyprinoids form a bulk of the superorder Ostariophysi – one of the most clearly defined major groups of recent teleosts (Greenwood et al. 1966). These fishes have undergone a number of interesting morphological modifications in various directions in keeping with changes in the environment. Taxonomic studies of cyprinids are based mostly on external morphological characters, and the exact systematic position of some genera and species still remains in a confused state.
Attempts have, therefore, been made by various workers to supplement more suitable characters for justification of divisions of the family into groups and tribes on the basis of osteology. Regan (1911) is of the opinion that external morphological characters are not sufficient in the taxonomy of cyprinids. He, therefore, gives a phylogenetic key to different subfamilies, based on characters of the skull, the Weberian apparatus and the pectoral girdle. Hence, osteological studies are important tools in the hands of fish taxonomists.
Sorescu (1975) and Howes (197'8) have tried to assesss the phylogenetic positions of some subfamilies like Danioninae, Cultrinae, Leuciscinae, Gobioninae, Barbinae and Cyprininae. But their work is restricted mainly to foreign genera. Although Ramaswami (1948, 1952a, b, c, d, 1953, 1955a, b) has carried out considerable work on the osteology of Indian cyprinoids, a perusal of the literature reveals that there is still enough scope to undetake such studies, especially on species which inhabit high altitude areas. Further, Ramaswami's work does not clearly indicate phylogenetic relationships of the species, the genera and the higher taxa. It has been rightly pointed out by Greenwood et al. (1966) that it is very necessary to work out the osteological aspects in long series of closely related species and genera to fill in the lacunae in our knowledge of relationships of this group of fishes.
Of the twelve species of cyprinids investigated, the osteology of six species has not been attempted so far and the data available on the rest seem to be insufficient for explaining their phylogenetic relationship. An attempt has been made to determine the osteological modifications in relation to ecological niches and to trace the phylogenetic relationships of each group. A key to identification of subfamilies and genera of the Cyprinidae, based on present osteological studies, has also been erected."
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