Revision of the sixgill sawsharks, genus Pliotrema (Chondrichthyes, Pristiophoriformes), with descriptions of two new species and a redescription of P. warreni Regan
OPEN PloS one | 19 Mar 2020
S Weigmann, O Gon, RH Leeney, E Barrowclift, P Berggren, N Jiddawi and AJ Temple
Recent sampling efforts in Madagascar and Zanzibar, as well as examinations of six-gilled sawsharks in several museum collections provided evidence for a complex of species within Pliotrema warreni Regan. The present manuscript contains a redescription of P. warreni involving the syntypes and additional material, as well as formal descriptions of two new species of Pliotrema Regan. All specimens of both new species were found in the western Indian Ocean. Individuals of the first new species, hereafter referred to as P. kajae sp. nov., were identified originating from Madagascar and the Mascarene Ridge. Specimens of the second new species, hereafter referred to as P. annae sp. nov., were only found off Zanzibar. Pliotrema kajae sp. nov. appears to inhabit upper insular slopes and submarine ridges at depths of 214-320 m, P. annae sp. nov. so far is only known from shallow waters (20-35 m). Both new species differ from P. warreni in a number of characteristics including the known distribution range and fresh coloration. Taxonomical differences include barbels that are situated approximately half way from rostral tip to mouth, with prebarbel length equidistant from barbel origin to symphysis of the upper jaw in P. kajae sp. nov. and P. annae sp. nov. (vs. about two thirds way from rostral tip to mouth, with prebarbel length about twice the distance from barbel origin to symphysis of upper jaw in P. warreni) and rostra that are clearly and slightly constricted between barbel origin and nostrils, respectively (vs. rostrum not constricted). Pliotrema kajae sp. nov. differs from P. annae sp. nov. in a longer snout, more numerous large lateral rostral teeth and upper jaw tooth rows, jaw teeth with (vs. without) sharp basal folds, and coloration, particularly pale to light brown (vs. medium to dark brown) dorsal coloration with (vs. without) two indistinct yellowish stripes. A revised diagnosis of Pliotrema and a key to the species are provided.
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