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Concept: Perciformes


A new nematode species, Philometroides acanthopagri sp. nov. (Philometridae), is described from gravid and subgravid specimens found in the musculature near pectoral fins and in nasal cavity of the yellowfin seabream Acanthopagrus latus (Houttuyn) (Sparidae, Perciformes) from marine waters off the coast of southern Iraq. Based on light and scanning electron microscopical examination, the new species differs from its congeners in a combination of morphological and biometrical features. It is the first species of Philometroides reported from a sparid fish and the first representative of this genus recorded from fishes in the Arabian Gulf. A key to Philometroides species parasitizing marine and brackish-water fishes is provided.

Concepts: Biology, Fish, Nematode, Gulf War, Persian Gulf, Iraq, Sparidae, Perciformes


Three species of Euryhaliotrema Kritsky & Boeger, 2002 (Monogenoidea: Dactylogyridae) were collected from the gills of four golden snapper Lutjanus johnii (Bloch) (Lutjanidae) from the marine and brackish waters off Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Type-specimens of Ancyrocephalus johni Tripathi, 1959 apparently have not survived and the possibility existed that the species was based on specimens representing more than one species. Euryhaliotrema johni (Tripathi, 1959) (sensu Young, 1968) was redescribed and determined to most likely represent A. johni, originally described from the River Hooghly, Diamond Harbour, India. Two new species were described. Euryhaliotrema longibaculoides n. sp. was most similar to Euryhaliotrema longibaculum (Zhukov, 1976) Kritsky & Boeger, 2002 from Lutjanus spp. from the western Atlantic Ocean. It differed from E. longibaculum by having a male copulatory organ (MCO) with an elongate comparatively delicate shaft and a bulbous base (MCO U- or J-shaped with funnel-shaped base in E. longibaculum). Based on the comparative morphology of the haptoral sclerites, Euryhaliotrema lisae n. sp. was most similar to Euryhaliotrema cryptophallus Kritsky & Yang, 2012 from the gills of the mangrove red snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus (Forsskål) from the South China Sea. Euryhaliotrema lisae differed from E. cryptophallus by having a copulatory complex with an obvious weakly sclerotised J-shaped MCO (MCO cryptic, delicate, and with a shaft comprising about one counterclockwise ring in E. cryptophallus).

Concepts: Atlantic Ocean, South China Sea, Lutjanidae, Brackish water, Perciformes, Darwin, Northern Territory, Hooghly River, Mangrove red snapper


Understanding the Tibetan Plateau’s palaeogeography and palaeoenvironment is critical for reconstructing Asia’s climatic history; however, aspects of the plateau’s uplift history remain unclear. Here, we report a fossil biota that sheds new light on these issues. It comprises a fossil climbing perch (Anabantidae) and a diverse subtropical fossil flora from the Chattian (late Oligocene) of central Tibet. The fish, Eoanabas thibetana gen. et sp. nov., is inferred to be closely related to extant climbing perches from tropical lowlands in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It has osteological correlates of a labyrinth organ, which in extant climbing perches gives them the ability to breathe air to survive warm, oxygen-poor stagnant waters or overland excursion under moist condition. This indicates that Eoanabas likewise lived in a warm and humid environment as suggested by the co-existing plant assemblage including palms and golden rain trees among others. As a palaeoaltimeter, this fossil biota suggests an elevation of ca. 1,000 m. These inferences conflict with conclusions of a high and dry Tibet claimed by some recent and influential palaeoaltimetry studies. Our discovery prompts critical re-evaluation of prevailing uplift models of the plateau and their temporal relationships with the Cenozoic climatic changes.

Concepts: Reasoning, Himalayas, Tibet Autonomous Region, Tibet, Central Asia, Perciformes, Tibetan Plateau, Chattian


Two gonad-infecting species of Philometra Costa, 1845 (Nematoda, Philometridae) were recorded for the first time from marine perciform fishes off Tunisia and Libya: Philometra rara n. sp. from the rare, deep-water Haifa grouper Hyporthodus haifensis (Serranidae) off Libya and Philometra saltatrix Ramachandran, 1973 from the bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix (Pomatomidae) off Tunisia. Identification of both fish species was confirmed by molecular barcoding. Light and scanning electron microscope studies of Ph. rara n. sp. showed that it is characterized by the length of spicules (216-219 μm) and the gubernaculum (90-93 μm), the gubernaculum/spicules length ratio (1:2.32-2.43), and mainly by the shape and structure of the distal end of the gubernaculum (shovel-shaped with a wide median smooth field in dorsal view), appearing as having a dorsal protuberance in lateral view, and by the structure of the male caudal mound (dorsally interrupted); large subgravid females (70-137 mm long) are characterized by the presence of four oval submedian cephalic elevations, each of them bearing a pair of cephalic papillae of the outer circle. The finding of Ph. saltatrix off Tunisia confirms that this species is widespread throughout the Mediterranean region. A molecular analysis of our Ph. saltatrix specimens and other available philometrid cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) sequences showed that most species have robust clades. Sequences of Ph. saltatrix from Tunisia diverge from Ph. saltatrix from Brazil and the USA, suggesting that speciation is currently occurring between populations from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Concepts: Electron, Africa, Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Europe, Mediterranean climate, Bluefish, Perciformes


It is currently widely accepted that the complexity of a species' social life is a major determinant of its brain complexity, as predicted by the social brain hypothesis. However, it remains a challenge to explain what social complexity exactly is and what the best corresponding measures of brain anatomy are. Absolute and relative size of the brain and of the neocortex have often been used as a proxy to predict cognitive performance. Here, we apply the logic of the social brain hypothesis to marine cleaning mutualism involving the genus Labroides. These wrasses remove ectoparasites from ‘client’ reef fish. Conflict occurs as wrasse prefer client mucus over ectoparasites, where mucus feeding constitutes cheating. As a result of this conflict, cleaner wrasse show remarkable Machiavellian-like behaviour. Using own data as well as available data from the literature, we investigated whether the general brain anatomy of Labroides provides any indication that their Machiavellian behaviour is associated with a more complex brain. Neither data set provided evidence for an increased encephalisation index compared to other wrasse species. Published data on relative sizes of brain parts in 25 species of the order Perciformes suggests that only the diencephalon is relatively enlarged in Labroides dimidiatus. This part contains various nuclei of the social decision making network. In conclusion, gross brain anatomy yields little evidence for the hypothesis that strategic behaviour in cleaning selects for larger brains, while future research should focus on more detailed aspects like the sizes of specific nuclei as well as their cryoarchitectonic structure and connectivity.

Concepts: Brain, Human brain, Cognition, Neocortex, Perciformes, Labridae, Bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Wrasse


A large body of research has documented the stress response of fish following angling capture. Nearly all of these studies have taken place during the open-water season, with almost no work focused on the effects of capture in the winter via ice angling. We therefore conducted a study to examine physiological disturbance and reflex impairment following capture by ice-angling in two commonly targeted species, bluegill Lepomis macrochirus and yellow perch Perca flavescens. Fish were captured from a lake in eastern Wisconsin (USA) and sampled either immediately or after being held in tanks for 0.5, 2 or 4 h. Sampling involved the assessment of reflex action mortality predictors (RAMP) and a blood biopsy that was used to measure concentrations of plasma cortisol and lactate. The capture-induced increase in plasma cortisol concentration was delayed relative to responses documented in previous experiments conducted in the summer and reached a relative high point at 4 h post-capture. Reflex impairment was highest at the first post-capture time point (0.5 h) and declined with each successive sampling (2 and 4 h) during recovery. Bluegill showed a higher magnitude stress response than yellow perch in terms of plasma cortisol and RAMP scores, but not when comparing plasma lactate. Overall, these data show that ice-angling induces a comparatively mild stress response relative to that found in previous studies of angled fish. While recovery of plasma stress indicators does not occur within 4 h, declining RAMP scores demonstrate that ice-angled bluegill and yellow perch do recover vitality following capture.

Concepts: Fish, Perch, Yellow perch, Perciformes, Lepomis, Panfish


Little is known about how hatch phenology (e.g., the start, peak, and duration of hatching) could influence subsequent recruitment of freshwater fishes into a population. We used two commonly sympatric fish species that exhibit different hatching phenologies to examine recruitment across multiple life stages. Nine yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) annual cohorts were sampled from 2004 through 2013 across larval, age-0, age-1, and age-2 life stages in a Nebraska (U.S.A.) Sandhill lake. Yellow perch hatched earlier in the season and displayed a more truncated hatch duration compared to bluegill. The timing of hatch influenced recruitment dynamics for both species but important hatching metrics were not similar between species across life stages. A longer hatch duration resulted in greater larval yellow perch abundance but greater age-1 bluegill abundance. In contrast, bluegill larval and age-0 abundances were greater during years when hatching duration was shorter and commenced earlier, whereas age-0 yellow perch abundance was greater when hatching occurred earlier. As a result of hatch phenology, yellow perch recruitment variability was minimized sooner (age-0 life stage) than bluegill (age-1 life stage). Collectively, hatch phenology influenced recruitment dynamics across multiple life stages but was unique for each species. Understanding the complexities of when progeny enter an environment and how this influences eventual recruitment into a population will be critical in the face of ongoing climate change.

Concepts: Biology, Fish, Ecology, Perch, Yellow perch, Perciformes, Hatch, Panfish


A new species of Hamacreadium Linton, 1910, H. cribbi n. sp. is described from Lethrinus miniatus (Forster) from the waters off New Caledonia. It is compared with the other species of Hamacreadium reported from lethrinids and is characterised by the size of its eggs which tend to be larger [72-93 (84) vs 54-81 (56) µm long] than those of other species. Other characteristics, such as body size and shape and internal ratios, differentiate H. cribbi from other species; these differences are discussed in detail.

Concepts: Perciformes, James Cook, Caledonia, Lethrinidae, Sweetlip emperor


Aristocleidus mexicanus n. sp. and Aristocleidus lacantuni n. sp. are described from the gills of the Mexican mojarra Eugerres mexicanus (Gerreidae, Perciformes) from the Rio Lacantún basin, Chiapas State, Mexico. These new species differ from previously described congeneric species in the characteristics of several structures, including: (a) ventral anchors, with differences in length (i.e. 46-50 µm in A. mexicanus vs. 38-43 µm, 34-37 µm, and 26-33 µm in Aristocleidus hastatus Mueller, 1936, Aristocleidus sp. of Mendoza-Franco, Violante-González & Roche 2009, and Aristocleidus lamothei Kritsky & Mendoza-Franco, 2008, respectively) and shape (i.e. slightly angular union of elongate arcing shaft and point in A. mexicanus vs. point and shaft united at a conspicuous angular bend in A. hastatus and Aristocleidus sp., and evenly curved shaft and point in A. lamothei); (b) male copulatory organ, i.e. a coiled tube with less than one ring in A. mexicanus and A. lacantuni (vs. a coiled tube of about 1½ in Aristocleidus sp.); © distal end of the accessory piece (ornate in A. mexicanus vs. distally flattened and trifid in A. hastatus and A. lamothei, respectively); (d) vaginal tube (moderately long in A. mexicanus vs. short in A. lamothei and looping in Aristocleidus sp.); and (e) ventral bar (anteromedial process with terminal horn-like ornamentation in A. lacantuni vs. ornamentation absent in the other species). This study reports for the first time species of Aristocleidus from freshwater environments in Mexico.

Concepts: United States, 2000s music groups, Mexico, Freshwater, Point, Perciformes, Mojarra, Gerreidae


Current literature states that family Scombropidae consists of a single genus Scombrops comprising three species worldwide, with two of them, Scombrops boops and Scombrops gilberti, distributed in the waters around the Japanese Archipelago. Although these two scombropids are commercially important species, little is known about the ecology of these fishes. It is difficult to discriminate between these two species based on external characteristics because of their morphological similarity. Here, we report two different morphotypes characterized by the relative growth between the otolith size and the standard length (SL) of the scombropid specimens caught in southern waters off Kyushu Island, Japan, and show the genetic relationship between the morphotypes by means of phylogenetic analyses using complete DNA sequences of the cytochrome b gene. The relationship between otolith weight and SL was significantly different between specimens < 505 mm SL and those > 550 mm SL. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the sequences from these scombropid specimens formed three clades: two corresponded to S. boops and S. gilberti, while the third did not correspond to any sequence recorded in databases, suggesting that these specimens are undescribed scombropid species. Almost all the specimens with SL < 505 mm (n = 76) were identified as S. boops, and only nine as S. gilberti. On the other hand, almost all the specimens with SL > 550 mm (n = 41) fell in the unidentified group except for four specimens, whose sequences were identical to that of S. boops.

Concepts: DNA, Biology, Species, Japan, Perciformes, Kyūshū, Gnomefish, Scombropidae