Skip to main content

Free Content Validity, identification, and distribution of the roundscale spearfish, Tetrapturus georgii (Teleostei: Istiophoridae): morphological and molecular evidence

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 402.0986328125 kb)
 

Abstract:

The roundscale spearfish, Tetrapturus georgii Lowe, 1840, is known only from four specimens from the Mediterranean and eastern North Atlantic. Additional specimens have not been identified since 1961, making the validity and distribution of this species unclear. Analysis of 16 billfish specimens from the western North Atlantic on the basis of scale morphology, anus position, and mitochondrial DNA confirms the validity of this species and extends its distribution. Mid-lateral scales are soft, notably rounded anteriorly, and bear 2–3 points distinct from those of the sympatric longbill spearfish (Tetrapturus pfluegeri Robins and de Sylva, 1963) and white marlin (Tetrapturus albidus Poey, 1860). Position of anus relative to first anal fin and a related morphometric ratio (distance from anus to first anal fin origin: height of first anal fin) are intermediate between T. pfluegeri and T. albidus. These characteristics match those described by Robins (1974) from the four eastern North Atlantic specimens of T. georgii. The mitochondrial ND4L, ND4, and cyt b gene sequences strongly support reciprocal monophyly of the western North Atlantic specimens relative to other Atlantic istiophorids. The difficulty in distinguishing between morphologically similar T. georgii and T. albidus in the field and the previously unrecognized presence of T. georgii in the western North Atlantic has implications for stock assessments of T. albidus, a species that is severely overfished.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-11-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more