The order Tetraodontiformes is regarded as one of the most highly derived groups among teleostean fishes and contains 435 species among 104 genera of 10 families. They have been studied in various academic disciplines such as phylogeny, anatomy, toxicology, fisheries, and genome biology. In this review, I present a series of studies on the phylogeny and taxonomy of tetraodontiform fishes of various taxonomic levels led by me. The studies involved various aspects such as the phylogenetic position and sister group of the order, familial relationships, relationships between balistids and monacanthids and evolution of pelvic elements, phylogeny and timescale of fugu of the genus Takifugu, relationships between tetraodontid fishes and their adaptation process to freshwater, and taxonomy of molids of the genus Mola. The results of these studies proposed evolutionary hypotheses that are largely incongruent with the conventional ones and revealed many problems regarding their taxonomy and classification.
Ostorhinchus fleurieu Lacepede, 1802 is recorded from Japan for the first time on the basis of 21 specimens (37.6-106.8mm standard length) collected from Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan. On the basis of underwater photographs, Osezaki, Izu Peninsula, is regarded as the northernmost record of the species. The new Japanese name "Kongo-tenjikudai" is proposed for the species. Comparisons of Ostorhinchus fleurieu with closely related species, O. aureus, based on 21 and 12 specimens, respectively, from Japan showed that O. fleurieu differed from O. aureus in having fewer total gill rakers (19-21, mode 21 vs. 23-24, 24 in the latter) and developed gill rakers (16-18, 18 vs. 18-21, 20), the pelvic-fin base located below the first lateral-line scale (vs. second scale), and a poorly defined, barrel-shaped black band on the caudal peduncle (vs. well-defined, sandglass-shaped band).
Bunichiro Aoki had been a professor of comparative anatomy and mammalogy in Taihoku Imperial University (now National Taiwan University, NTU) when Japan ruled Taiwan. Fortunately, a good portion of the mammal specimens collected by Prof. Aoki and his colleagues were well maintained in the Zoological Museum of NTU. We examined the specimens to evaluate the zoological research conducted in Taihoku Imperial University between 1928 and 1945. A total of 4,195 specimens of small mammal stuffed skins and medium and large sized mammal skeletons and skins were preserved in good condition, but most of the labels attached to skull specimens of small mammals were lost or intermingled with the other specimens. Examination of 4004 labels attached to small mammal skins revealed that the Aoki collection had registration numbers 1-5009, as well as duplicate numbers 1-156 for the specimens collected by Yamasaki. Specimens were collected mostly from the lowlands around Taihoku (now Taipei), but also from the mountains in Taiwan, Hainan Island, and the Japanese main-islands. Unexpectedly, one squirrel specimen of Yasuichi Horikawa was found in a box of the Aoki Collection. A part of the reprint collection of Prof. Aoki currently deposited in the NTU Library (about 11,244 items) was also examined. Based on the examination of specimens and reprints, we discuss the zoological research and collection that was done by Prof. Aoki, and his associates (Dr. Shinkichi Tateishi, Dr. Ryo Tanaka, and others) in Taihoku Imperial University.
The Duskytail Grouper, Epinephelus bleekeri (Perciformes: Serranidae), is recorded from Tanega-shima and Amami-oshima islands and the Yaeyama Islands in the Ryukyu Islands, southern Japan on the basis of six specimens (232.6-581.2 mm standard length). In addition, several records of E. bleekeri by photographs and/or observations from Kanagawa, Kochi, Ehime, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima prefectures are confirmed. Because E. bleekeri has previously been recorded from Taiwan and southward, the present specimens represent the first reliable records of the species from Japanese waters on the basis of collected specimens. Distributional implications of E. bleekeri in Japanese waters are discussed.