Last modified by 14zunde on 2024/02/13 07:40

From Greek ἀπό (a preposition meaning “from”, “out of”) and μορφή (“form”).

In cladistics, as theorised by Willi Hennig (cf. Schmitt 2013), a character or a character state may be plesiomorphic (ancestral or primitive) or apomorphic (derived). The polarisation of characters (the determination of the direction of character change), which is at the core of the phylogenetic method, is comparable to the concept of "error of copying" in the Lachmann's method. An apomorphic character state is equivalent to a secondary reading.


– Kitching, Ian J., Peter L. Forey, Christopher J. Humphries, and David M. Williams. 1998. Cladistics: The Theory and Practice of Parsimony Analysis. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
– Schmitt, Michael. 2013. From Taxonomy to Phylogenetics: Life and Work of Willi Hennig. Leiden: Brill.

In other languages

DE: apomorph
FR: apomorphique
IT: apomorfo