Montag, 18 September 2023 07:37


Feeding habits of Scorpaena notata (Scorpaenidae) from eastern Adriatic Sea.

Cybium 2021, 45(3): 217-224 .



The feeding habits of the small red scorpionfish, Scorpaena notata Rafinesque, 1810 from the eastern Adriatic Sea, were investigated with respect to fish size, season, and sampling location. Stomach contents of 798 specimens, of 6.0-20.5 cm total length (TL), collected by commercial bottom trawls from January to December 2013, were analysed. The percentage of empty stomachs varied significantly with season (from 36.6% maximum in winter to 14.5% in spring). Prey items belonged to four major taxonomic groups: Molluscs (Gastropoda, Bivalvia and Cephalopoda), Polychaetes, Crustaceans (Stomatopoda, Decapoda Natantia, Decapoda Reptantia, Mysidacea, Isopoda and Amphipoda), Teleosteans and Algae remains. Reptantia decapods were the most important prey (%IRI = 72) followed by Natantia decapods (%IRI = 18) while the other prey groups were only occasionally ingested. The small red scorpionfish is thus a crustacean feeder, preying mainly on decapods. Fish size was the most important factor influencing diet composition. Small individuals (< 11 cm TL) fed primarily on small crustaceans (amphipods, mysids and isopods), whereas large-sized specimens consumed larger prey, such as decapods (reptant and natant) and teleosts. Diet composition showed little seasonal variation; reptant decapods were the most important prey in all seasons. There was high dietary similarity between sampling locations.


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Samstag, 16 September 2023 14:38

KINGSTON, D. I. (1978)

Skiffia francesae, a New Species of Goodeid Fish from Western Mexico.

Copeia 1978 (3): 503–508. doi:10.2307/1443618. JSTOR 1443618.


A new species of Skiffia from the Río Teuchitlán on the Pacific slope of western México is based on both preserved and live material. It is regarded as most closely related to Skiffia multipunctata, as determined by meristic and morphometric data. It differs in shape and form of head and lips, size of orbit and head, diploid number of chromosomes and male coloration.


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Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes: Genera, Species, References.
Electronic version accessed 14.09.2023.

Diese vom Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability der California Academy of Sciences unterhaltene Datenbank ist die taxonomische Standardreferenz für Fische und eine Grundlage für die breiter angelegte Datenbank FISH BASE.

fricke-biblio; eschmeyer-biblio

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Phylogenetic classification of bony fishes.

Evolutionary Biology 17: Article number: 162 (2017)




Fish classifications, as those of most other taxonomic groups, are being transformed drastically as new molecular phylogenies provide support for natural groups that were unanticipated by previous studies. A brief review of the main criteria used by ichthyologists to define their classifications during the last 50 years, however, reveals slow progress towards using an explicit phylogenetic framework. Instead, the trend has been to rely, in varying degrees, on deep-rooted anatomical concepts and authority, often mixing taxa with explicit phylogenetic support with arbitrary groupings. Two leading sources in ichthyology frequently used for fish classifications (JS Nelson’s volumes of Fishes of the World and W. Eschmeyer’s Catalog of Fishes) fail to adopt a global phylogenetic framework despite much recent progress made towards the resolution of the fish Tree of Life. The first explicit phylogenetic classification of bony fishes was published in 2013, based on a comprehensive molecular phylogeny ( We here update the first version of that classification by incorporating the most recent phylogenetic results.


The updated classification presented here is based on phylogenies inferred using molecular and genomic data for nearly 2000 fishes. A total of 72 orders (and 79 suborders) are recognized in this version, compared with 66 orders in version 1. The phylogeny resolves placement of 410 families, or ~80% of the total of 514 families of bony fishes currently recognized. The ordinal status of 30 percomorph families included in this study, however, remains uncertain (incertae sedis in the series Carangaria, Ovalentaria, or Eupercaria). Comments to support taxonomic decisions and comparisons with conflicting taxonomic groups proposed by others are presented. We also highlight cases were morphological support exist for the groups being classified.


This version of the phylogenetic classification of bony fishes is substantially improved, providing resolution for more taxa than previous versions, based on more densely sampled phylogenetic trees. The classification presented in this study represents, unlike any other, the most up-to-date hypothesis of the Tree of Life of fishes.


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Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean.

1st edition. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, a National Research Facility of the National Research Foundation (NRF-SAIAB). ISBN    1998950409, 9781998950409

Volltext Bd. 5


Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean follows the fine tradition of producing multi-authored, illustrated volumes on fish diversity pioneered by Margaret Smith and Phil Heemstra with Smiths’ Sea Fishes. It is the culmination of the work of more than 100 authors, photographers and illustrators from 20 countries, over 25 years. The book is divided into five volumes and its primary purpose is to aid in identifying about 3 500 species of fishes that occur in the coastal waters (to about 200 m) of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). The latter covers the Red Sea, Persian/Arabian Gulf, to Kanyakumari, India, in the east; west to Cape Point, South Africa; and south to St Paul and Amsterdam Islands at 38° S.


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Genetics and taxonomy of Chilean smooth-shelled mussels, Mytilus spp. (Bivalvia: Mytilidae).

Comptes Rendus Biologies 335 (1): 51-61.



It has been previously established that native smooth-shelled mussels in southern South America possess close evolutionary affinities with Northern-Hemisphere Mytilus edulis L. 1758 (McDonald et al. (1991) [5]). This result has since been challenged by authors claiming that Chilean mussels should be considered a local subspecies of M. galloprovincialis Lmk. 1819. Moreover, morphological, physiological, ecotoxicological and molecular genetic studies on Chilean smooth-shelled mussels still frequently refer to ‘M. chilensis’ Hupé 1854, even though the previous discovery of alien M. galloprovincialis and considerable heterogeneity in shell morphology among samples collected along the Chilean shores raise concerns that different Mytilus spp. species might have been included under ‘M. chilensis’. Here we reviewed the molecular and morphological data available on smooth-shelled mussels from Chile in an attempt to clarify both their genetic composition and their taxonomic status. Using multivariate analysis on sample × allozyme-frequency matrices, we confirmed the widespread occurrence of the Southern-Hemisphere form of M. edulis along the shores from the North Patagonia region of Chile to the southern tip of the South American continent. The populations sampled in southern central Chile showed some evidence of slight introgression from Southern-Hemisphere M. galloprovincialis. Morphological characterization of a sample from Dichato in southern central Chile was consistent with its previous genetic identification as Mediterranean M. galloprovincialis. The occurrence of Southern-Hemisphere M. galloprovincialis in Punta Arenas at the southern tip of the South American continent was also reported. Southern-Hemisphere M. edulis, including native Chilean smooth-shelled Mytilus, should be assigned subspecific rank and named M. edulis platensis d’Orbigny 1846.


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Preliminary Results of the Research on Biology, Ecology and Conservation of the Chelonoidis chilensis (Sensu Lato) Gray, 1870 Tortoise in Argentina.

Buenos Aires: Proyecto Tortugas, Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina.
PDF, 45 Seiten, 8 Anhänge mit Grafiken.


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Molecular Systematics and Phylogeny of Old and New World Ratnakes, Elaphe AUCT., and Related Genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae.

Russian J. Herpetology 9(2): 105-124.


The phylogenetic relationships of the Holarctic ratsnakes (Elaphe auct.) are inferred from portions of two
mitochondrial genes, 12S rRNA and COI. Elaphe Fitzinger is made up of ten Palaearctic species. Natrix
longissima Laurenti (type species) and four western Palaearctic species (hohenackeri, lineatus, persicus,
and situla) are assigned to Zamenis Wagler. Its phylogenetic affinities with closely related genera, Coronella and Oocatochus, remain unclear. The East Asian Coluber porphyraceus Cantor is referred to a new genus. This taxon and the western European Rhinechis scalaris have an isolated position among Old World ratsnakes. Another new genus is described for four Oriental species (cantoris, hodgsonii, moellendorffi, and taeniurus). New World ratsnakes and allied genera are monophyletic. Coluber flavirufus Cope is referred to Pseudelaphe Mertens and Rosenberg. Pantherophis Fitzinger is revalidated for Coluber guttatus L. (type species) and further Nearctic species (bairdi, obsoletus, and vulpinus). Senticolis triaspis is the sister taxon of New World ratsnakes including the genera Arizona, Bogertophis, Lampropeltis, Pituophis, and Rhinocheilus. The East Asian Coluber conspicillatus Boie and Coluber mandarinus Cantor form a monophyletic outgroup with respect to other Holarctic ratsnake genera and are referred to Euprepiophis Fitzinger. Three Old World species, viz. Elaphe (sensu lato) bella, E. (s.l.) frenata, and E. (s.l.) prasina remain unassigned. The various groups of ratsnakes (tribe Lampropeltini) show characteristic hemipenis features.


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Systematic revision of the living African Slender-snouted Crocodiles (Mecistops Gray, 1844).

ZOOTAXA 4504(2): 151-193. 24 Oct. 2018. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4504.2.1.


Molecular and morphological evidence has shown that the African slender-snouted, or sharp-nosed, crocodile Mecistops cataphractus (Cuvier, 1824) is comprised of two superficially cryptic species: one endemic to West Africa and the other endemic to Central Africa. Our ability to characterize the two species is compromised by the complicated taxonomic history of the lineage and overlapping ranges of variation in distinguishing morphological features. The name M. cataphractus was evidently originally based on West African material, but the holotype is now lost. Although types exist for other names based on the West African form, the name M. cataphractus is sufficiently entrenched in the literature, and other names sufficiently obscure, to justify retypification. Here, we designate a neotype for M. cataphractus and restrict it to West Africa. We resurrect M. leptorhynchus as a valid species from Central Africa and identify exemplary referred specimens that, collectively, overcome the obscurity and diagnostic limits of the extant holotype. We additionally indicate suitable neotype material in the event the holotype is lost, destroyed, or otherwise needing replacement, and we rectify the previously erroneous type locality designation. We provide a revised diagnosis for crown Mecistops, and revise and update previous descriptions of the two living species, including providing both more complete descriptions and discussion of diagnostic characters. Finally, we provide considerable discussion of the current state of knowledge of these species’ ecology, natural history, and distribution.


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Divergent Morphology among Populations of the New Guinea Crocodile, Crocodylus novaeguineae (Schmidt, 1928): Diagnosis of An Independent Lineage and Description of A New Species.

Copeia. 107(3): 517-523.


The New Guinea Crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae) is a freshwater species of crocodilian endemic to the island of New Guinea in northern Oceania. The species inhabits both the country of Papua New Guinea in the east and Indonesian West Papua. Crocodylus novaeguineae occurs on both the northern and southern side of the Central Highlands, which span east to west dividing the entire island into northern and southern halves. Like most crocodilians, C. novaeguineae inhabits various grassy and forested swamps in lowland freshwater areas and has maintained both cultural and economic significance in the region for centuries. Neill (1971) and, more recently, Hall (1989) have suggested that Crocodylus novaeguineae on the northern side of the Central Highlands (“NCN”) and those on the southern side (“SCN”) are on independent evolutionary trajectories and should be taxonomically recognized. Hall (1989) attempted to affirm the suspicions of Neill and presented compelling morphological and ecological data to do so. Morphologically, the northern and southern hypothesized lineages differed in proportional premaxillary (PXS) to maxillary (MXS) length (NCN: MXS > PXS; SCN: PXS > MXS) and patterns of cervical squamation (NCN: >4 post-occipital scutes with lateral contiguity between them, anteromedial nuchal scute separation absent; SCN: 4 post-occipital scutes with lateral discontinuity between them, anteromedial nuchal scute separation present). Ecologically, C. novaeguineae south of the Central Highlands nest in the wet season, in synchrony with sympatric Crocodylus porosus, whereas north of the Central Highlands, nesting occurs in the dry season. Additionally, variation in reproductive strategy (clutch size and egg size ratios) was diagnosed between NCN and SCN; however, reproductive strategy is highly plastic, even intraspecifically, among crocodilians. Thus, these character states are not robustly interpretable as diagnostic. Phylogenetic approaches using molecular data were later tested and interpreted in the unpublished thesis of Gratten (2003) in which NCN and SCN were considered distinct operational taxonomic units in light of Hall (1989). A Bayesian analysis of relationships of Indo-Pacific Crocodylus using mtDNA curiously recovered a paraphyletic C. novaeguineae, rendered so by the purported Borneo Crocodile C. raninus, described from a skull and two preserved juveniles with no known extant population (Muller and Schlegel, 1844). NCN was recovered as more closely related to C. raninus than to SCN. This finding was attributed to either extremely recent divergence in NCN or misidentification of a dispersed or introduced NCN to Borneo from which the molecular sample was taken. Oaks (2011) recovered a paraphyletic C. novaeguineae; however, all samples of this species were from captive animals and identification of some samples appeared problematic. Thus, our analyses and comparisons herein only include populations of C. novaeguineae due to the lack of biologically reasonable comparisons. Crocodylus novaeguineae is the only freshwater crocodilian in the region besides the putative C. raninus. Little material with robust locality data exists in collections for this species, and in the absence of more specimens and diverse datasets we are unable to make additional comparisons. An improved analysis of morphological variation among populations of C. novaeguineae is warranted, given the ecological and molecular patterns that have slowly emerged. Here, we use multivariate geometric morphometric approaches to gain clarity on the differentiation of populations north and south of the Central Highlands by assessing cranial shape variation across the distribution. We aim to identify diagnostic characters for populations on independent evolutionary trajectories and test whether cranial shape variation corresponds to the hypothesized lineages (a clade north of the central highlands and one south). We predicted that specimens from drainages on the northern side would more closely resemble each other than specimens from drainages on the southern side of the highlands and that shape-based diagnostic characters would be revealed.


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