Morphological characterization and molecular phylogeny of Portunoidea Rafinesque, 1815 (Crustacea Brachyura): Implications for understanding evolution of swimming capacity and revision of the family-level classification
Cheliped construction, in particular the teeth pattern on chelae fingers is considered as most important character suit (along with burrowing/swimming apparatus) for the diagnosis of Portunoidea. Heterochelic and heterodontic chelipeds with the molariform tooth in the larger chela and multi-lobed serial teeth are presumably ancestral and most common pattern for the group. New material (mostly species of Thalamitinae Paulson, 1875, Lupocyclus Adamd and White, 1848 and Portunus Weber, 1795 sensu lato) have been combined with the existing sequences from the GenBank to produce molecular phylogenetic reconstructions based on the histone H3 gene fragment and a multi-gene tree (for smaller set of species) based on partial sequences of H3, D1 region of 28S gene and mitochondrial COI gene. These reconstructions have not provided necessary support to the monophyly of Portunoidea sensu lato but indicated the presence of several monophyletic lineages, i.e. Portunidae sensu stricto, Polybiidae + Thiidae + Carcinidae + Pirimelidae, Benthochascon + Geryonidae (to lesser extent), and Ovalipes. Monophyly of the Portunidae sensu stricto is supported by both the H3 and multigene trees and morphological evidence. Swimming capacity probably evolves as a result of parallel evolution in at least three different lineages of portunoids. A new version of the family level classification of Portunoidea and a key to their families are provided with the following taxa: Geryonidae (Geryoninae + Benthochasconinaeˇ ́ 1991, Thiidae, Pirimelidae, Carcinidae McLeay, subfam. nov.), Ovalipidae fam. nov., Brusiniidae Stevˇci c,1838 (Carcininae + Portumninae Ortmann, 1893), Polybiidae Ortmann, 1893, and Portunidae Rafinesque, 1815 sensu stricto. The most radical change in the systematics of Portunidae sensu stricto is the final recognition of the polyphyly of Portunus sensu lato and the need for revalidization and re-diagnozing of several taxa that were synonymized by Stephenson and Campbell (1959) and Stephenson (1972) under Portunus. While some subfamilies of the Portunidae (Podophthalminae Dana, 1851, Thalamitinae, and Lupocyclinae Alcock, 1895) are well supported by molecular phylogenies and the presence of morphological synapomorphies, the others need re-assessment.