Identification of a novel member in the family Albulidae (bonefishes)

Authors

  • E. M. Wallace,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Minnesota, 100 Ecology, 1987 Upper Buford Circle, St Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.
      Tel.: +1 612 6247225; fax: +1 612 6246777; email: walla296@umn.edu
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  • M. D. Tringali

    1. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Avenue Southeast, St Petersburg, FL 33701, U.S.A.
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Tel.: +1 612 6247225; fax: +1 612 6246777; email: walla296@umn.edu

Abstract

A novel Caribbean species Albula sp. cf. vulpes in the family Albulidae (bonefishes) was diagnosed through genetic and morphometric study. Phylogenies derived from 16S rRNA sequences revealed deeply separated lineages among Caribbean bonefishes. Mitochondrial DNA sequence divergences indicated a separation between 3·0 and 5·2 million years before present (b.p.). Cytochrome b phylogenies further supported the classification of A. sp. cf. vulpes as a novel albulid. Morphological variability revealed several differences between A. sp. cf. vulpes and other Caribbean species. A microsatellite library was developed to discern hybridization rates among the species. Microsatellite analyses revealed low levels of hybridization between some members in the complex. One instance of backcrossing was found between A. vulpes×A. sp. B and a pure A. sp. B, indicating that hybrids may have reduced fitness or may be reproductively isolated due to temporal–spatial spawning habitat differences.

Ancillary