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Regional and intraspecific variation in Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis (Cephalopoda: Ommastrephidae) morphology from the western central Pacific Ocean

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Regional and intraspecific variation in eight morphometric characters are described for the Purpleback flying squid, Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis, from the Bashi Channel and South China Sea. Principal components analysis indicated statistically significant sexual dimorphism for medium forms, but not for the dwarf form. Additionally, principal components analysis using ML-standardized (mantle length standardized) morphometric variables had considerable overlap, with a correct sex classification rate of <65%. Stepwise discriminant analysis revealed overall correct cross-validated classification rates of only 48.0% for the three squid forms from the Bashi Channel and South China Sea. The lack of significant intraspecific differences in squid from the same area indicates that the underlying cause of morphometric variation is environmental rather than phylogenetic. Finally, the relatively low cross-validated classification rates (<70%) indicate that using morphometric data alone to distinguish the focal sexes and forms is of limited practical utility, and that other types of data, such as genetic or hard tissue morphometrics, hold greater promise.
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Affiliations: 1: Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Fishery Ecology and Environment, South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Guangzhou, P.R. China, 510300 2: National Engineering Research Center for Oceanic Fisheries, 999 Hucheng Ring Road, Lingang New City, Shanghai, P.R. China, 201306 3: College of Marine Sciences, Shanghai Ocean University, Hucheng Ring Road 999, Lingang New City, Shanghai, P.R. China, 201306 4: Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Oceanic Fishery Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, 999 Hucheng Ring Road, Lingang New City, Shanghai, P.R. China, 201306 5: Key Laboratory of Oceanic Fisheries Exploration, Ministry of Agriculture, 999 Hucheng Ring Road, Lingang New City, Shanghai, P.R. China, 201306 6: The Key Laboratory of Sustainable Exploitation of Oceanic Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Education, 999 Hucheng Ring Road, Lingang New City, Shanghai, China, 201306

Appeared or available online: 30 July 2018

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