Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Article
Published: 2020-04-23

A taxonomic revision of Gymnothorax undulatus (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) in the Western Indian Ocean, with description of a new species

Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140. National Research Foundation—South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, 6140.
Smithsonian Institution, Museum Support Center, Suitland MD, 20746.
National Zoological Gardens (NZG), South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Pretoria, South Africa 0001.
Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140. National Research Foundation—South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Grahamstown, 6140.
Pisces Taxonomy morphometric paraphyletic genetic distance Gymnothorax elaineheemstrae n. sp.

Abstract

The taxonomic status of the widely distributed Indo-Pacific undulated moray eel, Gymnothorax undulatus, is revised using morphological and genetics features. Ninety-seven specimens previously identified as G. undulatus were examined and their mitochondrial COI and 16S rRNA genes were analysed. The multivariate analysis of eight morphometric characters resulted in separation with little to no overlap among some geographic regions. These groupings explained more than 90% of the total variation, with 86.6% overall classification. Two color morphs were identified, and the South African population was described as new species, Gymnothorax elaineheemstrae n. sp., distinct from G. undulatus in having mottled and faintly reticulated color pattern, 134–136 total vertebrae and further confirmed by the genetic analysis of COI and 16S rRNA with > 0.1 genetic distance. The morphological and genetics results indicate that G. undulatus, previously treated as a single species, consists of more than one species.

 

References

  1. Ahl, J.N. (1789) Specimen ichthyologicum de Muraena et Ophichtho, quod venia exp. Fac. Med. Ups. Praeside Carol. Pet. Thunberg, etc. J. Edman, Upsaliæ. 1–14.

    Berens, P. (2009) CircStat: A MATLAB toolbox for circular statistics. Journal of Statistical Software, 31, 1–21.

    https://doi.org/10.18637/jss.v031.i10

    Bleeker, P. (1864) Poissons inédits indo-archipélagiques de l’ordre des Murènes. Nederlandsch Tijdschrift voor de Dierkunde, 2, 38–54.

    Bloch, M.E. (1795) Naturgeschichte der auslӓndischen Fische. Berlin, ii + 1–192 pp.

    Böhlke, E.B. (1982) Vertebral formulae for type specimens of eels (Pisces: Anguilliformes). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 134, 31–49.

    Böhlke, E.B. (2000) Notes on the identity of small, brown, unpatterned Indo-Pacific moray eels, with description of three new species (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae). Pacific Science, 54, 395–416.

    Böhlke, E.B. & McCosker, J.E. (2001) The moray eels of Australia and New Zealand, with the description of two new species (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae). Records of the Australian Museum, 53, 71–102.

    https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.53.2001.1325

    Böhlke, E.B., McCosker, J.E. & Böhlke, J.E. (1989) Family Muraenidae. In: Böhlke, E.B. (Eds.), Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Memoirs of the Sears Foundation for Marine Research, 1 (Part 9), pp. 104–206.

    Böhlke, E.B. & Randall, J.E. (2000) A review of the moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) of the Hawaiian Islands, with descriptions of two new species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 150, 203–278.

    Böhlke, E.B. & Smith, D.G. (2002) Type catalogue of the Indo-Pacific Muraenidae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 152, 89–172.

    https://doi.org/10.1635/0097-3157(2002)152[0089:TCOIPM]2.0.CO;2

    Castle, P.H.J. & McCosker, J.E. (1986) Family Muraenidae. In: Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (Eds.), Smiths’ Sea Fishes. MacMillan, Johannesburg, pp. 165–176.

    Chang, C.-H., Shao, K.-T., Lin, H.-Y., Chiu, Y.C., Lee, M.Y., Liu, S.H. & Lin, P.L. (2016) DNA barcodes of the native ray-finned fishes in Taiwan. Molecular Ecology Resources, 2017, 796–805.

    https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.12601

    Chen, H.-M. & Loh, K.-H. (2007) Gymnothorax shaoi, a new species of Moray eel (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) from southeastern Taiwan. Journal of Marine Science and Technology, 15, 76–81.

    Chen, H.-M., Shao, K.-T. & Chen, C.-T. (1994) A review of the muraenid eels (family Muraenidae) from Taiwan with descriptions of twelve new records. Zoological Studies, 33, 44–64.

    Clarke, K.R. & Warwick, R.M. (1994) Similarity-based testing for community pattern: the two-way layout with no replication. Marine Biology, 118, 167–176.

    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00699231

    Darriba, D., Taboada, G.L., Doallo, R. & Posada, D. (2012) jModeltest 2: More models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nature Methods, 9, 772.

    https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2109

    Debelius, H. (2006) Indian Ocean Reef Guide. IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv, Frankfurt am Main, 321 pp.

    Ginsburg, I. (1951) The eels of the northern Gulf Coast of the United States and some related species. Texas Journal of Science, 3, 431–485.

    Heemstra, P.C. & Heemstra, E. (2004) Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. SAIAB and NISC (Pty) Ltd, Grahamstown, xxiv + 488 pp.

    Hubert, N., Meyer, C.P., Bruggemann, H.J., Guerin, F., Komeno, R.J., Espiau, B., Causse, R., Williams, J.T. & Planes, S. (2012) Cryptic diversity in Indo-Pacific coral-reef fishes revealed by DNA-barcoding provides new support to the centre-of-overlap hypothesis. PLoS ONE, 7, e28987.

    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0028987

    Kao, L.S. & Green, C.E. (2008) Analysis of Variance: is there a difference in means and what does it mean? Journal of Surgical Research, 144, 158–170.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2007.02.053

    Kimura, M. (1980) A simple method for estimating evolutionary rate of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 16, 111–120.

    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01731581

    King, D. & Fraser, V. (2014) The reef guide—fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East & South coasts of southern Africa. Struik Nature, Cape Town, 360 pp.

    Kumar, S., Stecher, G. & Tamura, K. (2015) MEGA7: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33, 1870–1874.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msw054

    Lacepède, B.G.E. (1803) Histoire naturelle des poisons. Vol. 5. Chez F. G. Levrault, Paris, cxi + 414 pp.

    Larkin, M.A., Blackshields, G., Brown, N.P., Chenna, R., McGettigan, P.A., McWilliam, H., Higgins, D.G. (2007) Clustal W and Clustal X version 2.0. Bioinformatics, 23, 2947–2948.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btm404

    Lesson, R.P. (1828) Description du nouveau genre Ichthyophis et de plusieurs espèces inédites ou peu connues de poissons, recueillis dans le voyage autour du monde de la Corvette “La Coquille”. Mémoires de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, (sér. 2) 4, 397–412.

    McClelland, J. (1844) Apodal fishes of Bengal. Calcutta Journal of Natural History, 5, 151–226.

    Meyer, C.P. (2003) Molecular systematics of cowries (Gastropoda: Cypraeidae) and diversification patterns in the tropics. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 79, 401–459.

    https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1095-8312.2003.00197.x

    Mohapatra, A., Mohanty, S.R., Smith, D.G., Mishra, S.S. & Roy, S. (2018) Gymnothorax odishi sp. nov. (Muraenidae: Muraeninae), a short brown unpatterned moray eel from Bay of Bengal, India. Zootaxa, 4420 (1), 123–130.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4420.1.7

    Nelson, J.S., Grande, T.C. & Wilson, M.V. (2016) Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey, xlii + 707 pp.

    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119174844

    Palumbi, S.R. (1996) Nucleic acids II: The polymerase chain reaction. In: Hillis, D.M, Moritz C.M. & Mable, B.K. (Eds.), Molecular systematics. 2nd Edition. Sinauer Associates, Inc, Sunderland, pp. 205–247.

    Randall, J.E. & Golani, D. (1995) Review of the moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) of the Red Sea. Bulletin of Marine Science, 56, 849–880.

    Ratnasingham, S. & Hebert, P.D.N. (2007) The Barcode of Life Data System (http://www.barcodinglife.org). Molecular Ecology Notes, 7, 355–364.

    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-8286.2007.01678.x

    Reece, J.S. (2010) Phylogenetics and Phylogeography of Moray Eels (Muraenidae). PhD thesis, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 112 pp.

    Reece, J.S., Bowen, B.W., Smith, D.G. & Larson, A. (2010a) Molecular phylogenetics of moray eels (Muraenidae) demonstrates multiple origins of a shell-crushing jaw (Gymnomuraena, Echidna) and multiple colonizations of the Atlantic Ocean. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 57, 829–835.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2010.07.013

    Reece, J.S., Smith, D.G. & Holm, E. (2010b) The moray eels of the Anarchias cantonensis group (Anguiliformes: Muraenidae), with description of two new species. Copeia, 2010, 421–430.

    https://doi.org/10.1643/CI-09-189

    Reece, J.S., Bowen, B.W., Joshi, K., Goz, V. & Larson, A. (2010c) Phylogeography of two moray eels indicates high dispersal throughout the Indo-Pacific. Journal of Heredity, 101, 391–402.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esq036

    Rocha, L.A. (2004) Mitochondrial DNA and color pattern variation in three Western Atlantic Halichoeres (Labridae), with the revalidation of two species. Copeia, 2004, 770–782.

    https://doi.org/10.1643/CG-04-106

    Rodríguez, F., Oliver, J.F., Marín, A. & Medina, J.R. (1990) The general stochastic model of nucleotide substitution. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 142, 485–501.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5193(05)80104-3

    Rüppell, W.P.E.S. (1830) Atlas zu der Reise im nördlichen Afrika. Fische des Rothen Meers. Frankfurt am Main (Heinrich Ludwig Brönner), 95–141.

    Sambrook, J. & Russell, D.W. (Eds.) (2001) Molecular cloning: A laboratory manual. 3rd Edition. Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory Press, New York, 2234 pp.

    Santini, F. & Winterbottom, R. (2002) Historical biogeography of Indo-western Pacific coral reef biota: is the Indonesian region a centre of origin? Journal of Biogeography, 29, 189–205.

    https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2699.2002.00669.x

    Schultz, L.P. (1943) Fishes of the Phoenix and Samoan islands collected in 1939 during the expedition of the U.S.S. “Bushnell”. Bulletin of the United States National Museum, i–x + 1–316 pp.

    Shimodaira, H. & Hasegawa, M. (1999) Multiple comparisons of log likelihoods with applications to phylogenetic inference. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 16, 1114–1116.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a026201

    Simon, K.D., Bakar, Y., Temple, S.E. & Mazlan, A.G. (2010) Morphometric and meristic variation in two congeneric archer fishes Toxotes chatareus (Hamilton 1822) and Toxotes jaculatrix (Pallas 1767) inhabiting Malaysian coastal waters. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 11, 871–879.

    https://doi.org/10.1631/jzus.B1000054

    Smith, D.G. (2012) A checklist of the moray eels of the world (Teleostei: Anguilliformes: Muraenidae). Zootaxa, 3474 (1), 1–64.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3474.1.1

    Smith, J.L.B. (1949) The Sea fishes of Southern Africa. Central News Agency, LTD, Cape Town, xvi + 550 pp., 100 pls.

    Smith, J.LB. (1953) The Sea fishes of Southern Africa. 3rd Edition. Central News Agency, LTD, Cape Town, 564 pp., 107 pls.

    Smith, J.L.B. (1962) The moray eels of the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. Ichthyological Bulletin, 23, 421–444.

    Steinke, D., Connell, A.D. & Hebert, P.D. (2016) Linking adults and immatures of South African marine fishes 1. Genome, 59, 959–967.

    https://doi.org/10.1139/gen-2015-0212

    Sunnucks, P. & Hales, D.F. (1996) Numerous transposed sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I–II in aphids of the genus Sitobion (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Molecular Biology Evolution, 13, 510–524.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a025612

    Swofford, D.L. (2003) PAUP*. Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (*and Other Methods). Version 4. Sinauer Assoicates: Sunderland, Massachusetts. [program]

    Tang, K.L. & Fielitz, C. (2013) Phylogeny of moray eels (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae), with a revised classification of true eels (Teleostei: Elopomorpha: Anguilliformes). Mitochondrial DNA, 24, 55–66.

    https://doi.org/10.3109/19401736.2012.710226

    Tawa, A., Kobayakawa, M., Yoshimura, T. & Mochioka, N. (2012) Identification of leptocephalus larvae of the tiger moray Scuticaria tigrina (Anguilliformes; Muraenidae) based on morphometric and genetic evidence. Ichthyological Research, 59, 378–383.

    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-012-0292-0

    Tighe, K.A., Ho, H.C. & Hatooka, K. (2018) A new species of the genus Dysommina (Teleostei: Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae: Ilyophinae) from the Western Pacific. Zootaxa, 4454 (1), 43–51.

    https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4454.1.6

    Turan, C., Oral, M., Ozturk, B. & Duzgunes, E. (2006) Morphometric and meristic variation between stocks of Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) in the Black, Marmara, Aegean and northeastern Mediterranean Seas. Fisheries Research, 79, 139–147.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2006.01.015

    Ward, R.D., Zemlak, T.S., Innes, B.H., Last, P.R. & Hebert, P.D.N. (2005) DNA barcoding Australia’s fish species. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences, 360, 1847–1857.

    https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2005.1716

    Werle, E., Schneider, C., Renner, M., Volker, M. & Fiehn, W. (1994) Convenient single-step, one tube purification of PCR products for direct sequencing. Nucleic Acids Research, 22, 4354–4355.

    https://doi.org/10.1093/nar/22.20.4354

    Wheeler, A. (1985) The World Encyclopedia of Fishes. Macdonald & Co (Publishers) Ltd, London, xiv + 597 pp.

    Zhang, J. & Hanner, R. (2011) DNA barcoding is a useful tool for the identification of marine fishes from Japan. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 39, 31–42.

    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2010.12.017

    Zhang, J. & Hanner, R. (2012) Molecular approach to the identification of fish in the South China Sea. PLoS One, 7, e30621.

    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0030621

How to Cite

SITHOLE, Y., SMITH, D. G., MWALE, M., & GOUWS, G. (2020). A taxonomic revision of <em>Gymnothorax</em> <em>undulatus</em> (Anguilliformes: Muraenidae) in the Western Indian Ocean, with description of a new species. Zootaxa, 4767(1), 161–181. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4767.1.7