Phylogeny of coral-inhabiting barnacles (Cirripedia; Thoracica; Pyrgomatidae) based on 12S, 16S and 18S rDNA analysis

N. Simon-Blecher, D. Huchon, Y. Achituv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The traditional phylogeny of the coral-inhabiting barnacles, the Pyrgomatidae, is based on morphological characteristics, mainly of the hard parts. It has been difficult to establish the phylogenetic relationships among Pyrgomatidae because of the apparent convergence of morphological characteristics, and due to the use of non-cladistic systematics, which emphasize ancestor-descendant relationships rather than sister-clade relationships. We used partial sequences of two mithochondrial genes, 12S rDNA and 16S rDNA, and a nuclear gene, 18S rDNA, to infer the molecular phylogeny of the pyrgomatids. Our phylogenetic results allowed us to reject previous classifications of Pyrgomatidae based on morphological characteristics. Our results also suggested the possibility of paraphyly of the Pyrgomatidae. The hydrocoral barnacle Wanella is not found on the same clade as the other pyrgomatids, but rather, with the free-living balanids. The basal position of Megatrema and Ceratoconcha is supported. The archeaobalanid Armatobalanus is grouped with Cantellius at the base of the Indo-Pacific pyrgomatines. Fusion of the shell plate and modification of the opercular valves are homoplasious features that occurred more than three times on different clades. The monophyly of the "Savignium" group, comprising four nominal genera, is also not supported, and the different taxa are placed on different clades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1341
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation430/03-3


    • 12S rDNA
    • 16S rDNA
    • 18S rDNA
    • Coral-inhabiting barnacles
    • Phylogeny
    • Pyrgomatidae


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