Area cladograms. (A) Geological area cladogram of Gondwanan progression (summarized by  based on  and ). Ariine area cladograms based on MP (B) and ML (C) topologies estimated on the combined dataset (see details in Table 1, Additional file 2). (D) Sparks and Smith  general area cladogram derived from the area cladograms of cichlids, aplocheiloid killifishes, and rainbowfishes (for particular area cladograms see [: Fig. four]). (E) General area cladogram derived from the component analysis of the four fish groups using either MP (strict consensus of three optimal trees, minimal value = 51) or ML (strict consensus of three optimal trees, minimal value = 32) topologies. Widespread Netuma and Plicofollis were handled under assumption 2 [76–78, 81] by arbitrarily removing all but one area from their distributions (areas used: India-SE Asia for Netuma, Australia-New Guinea for Plicofollis [79, 80]). Letters in parentheses refer to nodes in Figure 3 and Additional file 2.