The Mugilogobius group consists of brackish water gobionellines widely distributed in the Indo-West Pacific region. Complete mitochondrial genome and morphological evidence was collected to estimate their phylogenetic relationship and taxonomic status. A total of 11 genera were sampled, including Brachygobius, Calamiana, Hemigobius, Mugilogobius, Pandaka, Pseudogobiopsis, Pseudogobius, Redigobius, Rhinogobius, Stigmatogobius, and Wuhanlinigobius, five of which were sequenced for the first time. A morphological phylogenetic tree was also reconstructed based on 35 characters. The molecular phylogenetic trees reveal that the Mugilogobius group contains four major clades. The present study also reveals that the adult male mouth size and forked sensory papillae row d can be considered as synapomorphies, and that the head pores on inter-orbital, anterior oculoscapular, and preopercular regions can be regarded as derived features among the Mugilogobius group. Furthermore, the absence of posterior oculoscapular pores may provide a clue for understanding the evolutionary history of the Mugilogobius group.
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Vol. 33 • No. 5