Data from: Is sexual selection driving diversification of the bioluminescent ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae)?
Chakrabarty, Prosanta et al. (2011), Data from: Is sexual selection driving diversification of the bioluminescent ponyfishes (Teleostei: Leiognathidae)?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8987
Sexual selection is a mechanism of speciation that theoretically could provide genetic isolation among populations and lead to an increase in diversification rates. In this study, we investigate the impact of potential sexual selection on the tempo and mode of ponyfish evolution. Ponyfishes (Leiognathidae) are bioluminescent marine fishes that exhibit sexually-dimorphic features of their unique light-organ system (LOS). Given that some leiognathid species have a sexually dimorphic LOS, whereas others do not, this family provides an excellent system within which to study the potential role of sexual selection in diversification and morphological differentiation. We estimate the phylogenetic relationships and divergence times of Leiognathidae, investigate the tempo and mode of ponyfish diversification, and explore morphological shape disparity among clades. We recover strong support for a monophyletic Leiognathidae, and estimate that all major ponyfish lineages initially evolved during the Paleogene. We conclude that if sexual selection is occurring in ponyfish evolution, it is likely only as a genetic isolating mechanism that has allowed ponyfishes to continuously diversify over time, with no overall impact on increases in diversification rate or morphological disparity.