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The subfamily Congrogadinae, recently removed from the blennioid fishes and aligned with the anisochromin pseudochromids by Godkin and Winterbottom, is divided into 8 genera and 19 species. Descriptions of 5 species are given here: Blennodesmus scapularis, northwestern and eastern Australia; Congrogadus (Congrogadoides) malayanus, Torres Strait to Aru Island; C. (C. ) spinifer, northern Australia; C. (Congrogadus) hierichthys, Sulu Sea; and Halimuraena hexagonata, Mozambique and southwestern Madagascar. Halimuraenoides isostigma, a new genus and species from southwestern Madagascar, has recently been described by Maugé and Bardach (1985). The remaining species have been treated in detail by the author elsewhere during the last 7 years. They are: Congrogadus (Congrogadoides) amplimaculatus, southern Gulf of Carpentaria; C. (Congrogadus) subducens, Nicobars and Japan to tropical Australia; Halidesmus polytretus, Kenya; H. scapularis, southern Africa; H. thomaseni, Pakistan and northern India (both coasts); Halimuraena lepopareia, Comoros and northern Madagascar; H. shakai, Kwazulu and Mauritius; Haliophis aethiopus, Bali, Indonesia; H. guttatus, Red Sea to Mozambique Island and southwestern Madagascar; Natalichthys leptus, N. ori , and N. sam, all from Natal, South Africa; and Rusichthys plesiomorphus, Kenya. An artificial key to the species is provided.
A consideration of the phylogeny and distribution of the subfamily and its sister group indicates that at least the first 2 speciation events may have occurred within the proto-western Indian Ocean, prior to the breakup of Gondwanaland during the Cretaceous. Evidence of dispersal (by sympatry of sister species) is documented in Congrogadus (Congrogadus). Other examples of dispersal (probably through range increment) are suggested for hypothetical ancestral taxa. A final example of dispersal involves the presence of one recent taxon at an oceanic island.
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