Shiners of the cyprinid genus Cyprinella are abundant and broadly distributed in eastern and central North America. Thirty species are currently placed in the genus: these include six species restricted to Mexico and three barbeled forms formerly placed in different cyprinid genera (primarily Hybopsis). We conducted a molecular phylogenetic analysis of all species of Cyprinella found in the United States, using complete nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial, protein-coding genes ND2 and ND4L. Maximum-parsimony analysis recovered a single most-parsimonious tree for Cyprinella. Among historically recognized, nonbarbeled Cyprinella, the mitochondrial (mt) DNA tree indicated that basal lineages in Cyprinella are comprised largely of species with linear breeding tubercles and that are endemic to Atlantic and/or Gulf slope drainages, whereas derived lineages are comprised of species broadly distributed in the Mississippi basin and the American Southwest. The Alabama Shiner, C. callistia, was basal in the mtDNA tree, although a monophyletic Cyprinella that included C. callistia was not supported in more than 50% of bootstrap replicates. There was strong bootstrap support (89%) for a clade that included all species of nonbarbeled Cyprinella (except C. callistia) and two barbeled species, C. labrosa and C. zanema. The third barbeled species, C. monacha, fell outside of Cyprinella sister to a species of Hybopsis. Within Cyprinella were a series of well-supported species groups, although in some cases bootstrap support for relationships among groups was below 50%. A derived clade consisting of C. spiloptera, C. whipplei, C. venusta, and the southwestern C. lutrensis group was strongly supported. The species C. lutrensis and C. lepida were not monophyletic, suggesting further study and revision within this group are warranted. In general, the most-parsimonious mtDNA tree was similar in terms of relationships among species to those proposed more than 40 years ago by R. H. Gibbs.
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Vol. 2000 • No. 1