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Free Content Systematic Status and Aspects of the Ecology of the Elongate Ariommid Fishes (Suborder Stromateoidei) in the Atlantic

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Ariomma bondi and Ariomma melanum are recognized as the only two species of elongate ariommid fishes in the Atlantic. The names Cubiceps nigriargenteus and Paracubiceps ledanoisi are placed in the synonymy of A. bondi, and Paracubiceps multisquamis is synonymized with A. melanum. The two species, while quite similar and closely related, can be distinguished on the basis of scale size and extent of head scalation, relative development of the cephalic lateral line, and the color of the peritoneum. As adults, these fishes are benthopelagic over the Continental Shelf and Slope in both the eastern and western Atlantic. Very little differentiation is apparent between eastern and western populations of each species, and it is suggested that gene flow is maintained by the transport of larvae in cross-Atlantic currents. The relationships of the two species to other members of this enigmatic stromateoid family remain a problem.

The two species of Ariomma occupy different depth zones. A. bondi is most frequently found at depths of less than 200 m and has been considered to be part of a subthermocline sparid community in the Gulf of Guinea. A. melanum usually occurs in a depth range of 200-600 m and has been considered to be a member of a deep shelf or Continental Slope community in the Gulf of Guinea. Results of the Guinean Trawling Survey show that Ariomma is widely distributed in the shelf region off tropical West Africa. The fishery potential of Ariomma appears to be considerable, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1972-09-01

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