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    Torpediniformes (electric rays) is a monophyletic group strongly supported by morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies. The claspers of electric rays, however, are poorly documented in comparation to the clasper of other batoids, especially skates, and the knowledge of their anatomical variation is restricted to the description of a few species. The present article analyzes the external and skeletal clasper anatomy of electric rays and reports newly discovered characters that can be useful for taxonomic diagnoses and higher-level systematic studies. The family Torpedinidae exclusively presents the integumental flap, a poorly calcified clasper skeleton, and a dorsal marginal cartilage with a medial flange on its distal portion. Derived or diagnostic characters were not found in the clasper of the reportedly nonmonophyletic families Narcinidae and Narkidae; however, the claspers of species and genera of narcinids and narkids present different anatomical patterns that can be useful for taxonomic and phylogenetic studies. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


    Renan A Moreira, Marcelo R de Carvalho. Phylogenetic significance of clasper morphology of electric rays (Chondrichthyes: Batoidea: Torpediniformes). Journal of morphology. 2021 Mar;282(3):438-448

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    PMID: 33377231

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