Families within suborder Aplocheiloidei

Aplocheilus parvus
Indian Ocean to Thailand

Bleeker, 1859

Neofundulus aureomaculatus
Cynolebiini Cynopoecilini Kryptolebiinae
Neofundulini Plesiolebiina Rachoviini Rivulini
South America, Europe, Asia

Hoedeman, 1961 (Cynolebiidae was formerly Rivulidae (Myers 1925)


Altner & Reichenbacher 2015

The only fossil Aplocheilid Killifish known. That triangular caudal plate (shown in red here) instead of fin rays to connect the backbone to the caudal fin is pure dinosaur stuff. Coelocanths are more evilved than this and only and Pachypanchax have this only two other living killies do. Most notable perhaps about the Kenyaichthyidae fossils is the variance in this caudal plate which ranges from large to small as they evolve into the modern fin ray organization. An important step in the evolution of killifish.

"Cyprinodontiform fossils from the upper Miocene Lukeino Formation in the Tugen Hills of the Central Rift Valley of Kenya, which represent the first fossil record of an aplocheiloid killifish."

Families within Suborder : Aplocheiloidei
"Members of the Aplocheiloids of the Old World have often been referred to as the most primitive of all Cyprinodontiforms. Myers (1958) stated that the genus Aplocheilus represents the most basic characteristics" - (Parenti 1981)

Pohl 2015 Multigene phylogeny of cyprinodontiform fishes suggests continental radiations and a rogue taxon position of Pantanodon

Stiassny & de Pinna (1994) pointed to the fact that several Malagasy freshwater fishes are phylogenetically basal within their respective lineages. Beside cichlids and aplocheiloids, this is also true for catfishes (genus Ancharius) and atherinomorphs (family Bedotiidae). The bedotiids are probably related to the Australasian rainbowfishes (Dyer & Chernoff, 1996), but this relationship is still to be confirmed by molecular data. Among the remaining freshwater fishes from Madagascar, the relationships of the killifish Pantanodon madagascariensis to its supposed relative P. stuhlmanni from brackish waters in East Africa, and the relationships of the mugilid Agonostomus telfairii (from Madagascar, Comoros and Mascarenes) to its supposed Neotropical relative A. monticola (see Stiassny & Harrison, 2000) remain to be tested with molecular datasets. In any case, it must be stressed that these groups, as also cichlids and aplocheiloids, belong to higher clades for which the known fossil ages are much younger than the midMesozoic separation of Africa and Madagascar (Lundberg, 1993; Patterson, 1993; Briggs, 2003b). - Vences 2004.

Traditionally the origins of tooth carps, especially those in the Aplocheiloidei, are interpreted as being a consequence of ancient vicariance (e.g., Murphy & Collier, 1997; Sparks & Smith, 2005; Samonds et al., 2012; Costa, 2013), in particular because their cladogenesis largely reflects the breakup of the Gondwana
supercontinent in deep Mesozoic times, with the Indian Aplocheilus considered being sister to the MalagasySeychellean Pachypanchax, and the South Amercan Rivulidae sister to the African Nothobranchiidae (Murphy & Collier, 1997; Sparks & Smith, 2005).

The vicariance hypothesis for aplocheiloid origins however requires confirmation as it conflicts with clade ages recovered in several studies (e.g., Crottini et al., 2012; Near et al., 2012, 2013; Broughton et al., 2013) that place the origin of the entire cyprinodontiform clade into the latest Mesozoic or early Cenozoic, similar to that of cichlids (Vences et al., 2001; Friedman et al., 2013). Particularly relevant for this aspect of cyprinodontiform biogeography are the endemic tooth carps occurring on Madagascar, the fourth largest island of the world. This island has been separated from all other landmasses since the Mesozoic and is characterized by a unique and highly endemic biota, yet many of its radiations appear to have originated after its isolation (Yoder & Nowak, 2006; Samonds et al., 2012). Madagascar is inhabited by two native genera of cyprinodontiforms: the genus Pachypanchax with currently six Malagasy and one Seychellean species; and the genus Pantanodon, with one described and one undescribed species known from Madagascar, and one species occurring in Eastern Africa (Sparks, 2003; Loiselle, 2006). So far, no molecular data are available for Pantanodon, and only one Malagasy species of Pachypanchax has been included in molecular phylogenies (Murphy & Collier, 1997; Crottini et al., 2012). (Pohl 2015)