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Morphological and molecular variation in Synaphobranchus eels (Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in relation to species diagnostics
Svendsen, F.M.; Byrkjedal, I. (2013). Morphological and molecular variation in Synaphobranchus eels (Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in relation to species diagnostics. Mar. Biodiv. 43(4): 407-420 . hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12526-013-0168-1
In: Marine Biodiversity. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 1867-1616, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Eels; Taxonomy; Synaphobranchidae Johnson, 1862 [WoRMS]; A, Mid-Atlantic Ridge [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Cutthroat eels; Species diagnostics

Authors  Top 
  • Svendsen, F.M.
  • Byrkjedal, I.

Abstract
    Synaphobranchus eels are difficult to identify at species level. Previous taxonomic studies show several inconsistencies concerning the diagnostic characters of Synaphobranchus kaupii Johnson, 1862 and Synaphobranchus affinis Günther, 1877. One hundred and eleven specimens from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and a type specimen of S. affinis were examined morphologically, and the DNA barcode region of the mitochondrial COI gene was sequenced from 58 of these specimens. The results of this examination showed an ontogenetic change in most morphometric characters and that most of the previously used diagnostic characters—namely, dorsal fin origin in relation to the vent, predorsal length, scale shape and pattern, and dentition—cannot distinguish between the species S. kaupii and S. affinis. The type specimen of S. affinis may represent a member of a species that closely resembles S. kaupii morphologically, separable by having a lower number of vertebrae, dorsal fin rays, and anal fin rays.

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