A phylogenetic analysis of Danio (sensu lato), based on 38 morphological characters, shows that Danio, as recognized until now, is paraphyletic. Danio is restricted to species previously recognized as the “Danio dangila species group,” including D. dangila, Danio rerio, Danio nigrofasciatus, and Danio albolineatus. Those species share an “A stripe” on the anal-fin rays, an anterior lateral extension ventrally on the dentary, two or more pigment stripes on the caudal-fin rays and greatly enlarged lamellar nasal. Esomus is the sister group of Danio. Remaining Danio (sensu lato) species are referred to Devario, characterized by a short and wide premaxillary ascending process with a minute apophysis contacting the kinethmoid, a short maxillary barbel, a “P stripe” extending onto the median caudal-fin rays, and infraorbital 5 not or only slightly reduced. Devario includes the species Devario malabaricus, Devario kakhienensis, Devario devario, Devario chrysotaeniatus, Devario maetaengensis, Devario interruptus, and Devario apogon. The sister group of Devario is a clade composed of Inlecypris and Chela. The well-known genus Brachydanio becomes a junior synonym of Danio (sensu stricto). The phylogenetic relationships of small Danio-like species Sundadanio axelrodi, Danionella translucida, Danio erythromicron, and Microrasbora rubescens remain unresolved.
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Vol. 2003 • No. 4