This study investigates the evolutionary relationships among species in the family Scopelarchidae with molecular (eight genes) and morphological data. A new genus of pearleye is diagnosed, Lagiacrusichthys, new genus, from a previously described species (Benthalbella macropinna) distributed in Antarctic waters. The diagnosis of Lagiacrusichthys is based on molecular and anatomical information, including a highly reduced dorsal fin (5–6 rays) and a long anal fin (35–39 rays). The results represent the most taxonomically comprehensive molecular and total evidence hypotheses of the evolutionary relationships of the pearleyes to date (13 of 18 species), and these frameworks are used to comment on the historical biogeography of this widespread group. It is inferred that the pearleyes likely first evolved in central-tropical waters, with two independent invasions into Antarctic waters.
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