Thursday, April 7, 2016

A new snapper: Lutjanus sapphirolineatus

Lutjanus is a genus of snappers found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. As most snappers they are predatory fish usually found in tropical and subtropical reefs, and mangrove forests.

The new species from Somalia and Oman is named “sapphirolineatus” with reference to the diagnostic character of four blue stripes on its body.

For the experts: Lutjanus octolineatus (Cuvier 1828), previously considered a junior synonym of Lutjanus bengalensis (Bloch 1790), is shown to be a valid species and lectotypes are designated. Both species are redescribed. The two species have overlapping distributions in the Indian Ocean, but are clearly separable by different dorsal-fin spine counts, blue-striped pattern on the body and the presence or absence of a subocular extension of cheek scales. Lutjanus octovittata (Valenciennes 1830), formerly assigned to synonymy of L. bengalensis, is considered a junior synonym of L. octolineatus based on examination of the holotype. Lutjanus sapphirolineatus n. sp., a species formerly misidentified as L. bengalensis, is described based on 10 specimens from Oman and Somalia. The new species differs from the three species above by a combination of different
characters. Analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (CO1, 603 bp) genetic marker, also strongly supports the validity of each species of the blue-striped snapper complex as distinct.

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