A contribution to the taxonomy of the marine fish genus Argyrosomus (Perciformes: Sciaenidae), with descriptions of two new species from southern Africa.|
Marc H. Griffiths and Phillip C. Heemstra
Study of the biology, anatomy and taxonomy of the sciaenid fishes of the
genus Argyrosomus from South Africa and Namibia revealed that three
species were confused under the name "Argyrosomus hololepidotus
(Lacepede, 1801)". Comparison of morphometric and meristic data, otoliths,
swim-bladders, drumming muscles, and other morphological features, of
specimens from southern Africa, Madagascar, the Mediterranean Sea, the
eastern Atlantic Ocean, Japan and Australia, established that the "A.
hololepidotus" of recent authors is a complex of four species: A.
japonicus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1843), which occurs off southern Africa,
Japan and Australia; A. inodorus sp. nov., which is known from Namibia to
the Kei River (32 degrees 40' S) on the east coast of South Africa; A.
coronus sp. nov., which is known from central and northern Namibia and
Angola, and A. hololepidotus, which appears to be endemic to Madagascar.
These four species are compared with A. regius (Asso, 1801) of the
Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic, A. thorpei Smith, 1977 from South
Africa, Mozambique and the west coast of Madagascar, and A. beccus
Sasaki, 1994 known only from Durban harbour. To promote stability in the
nomenclature and to resolve the confusion in the taxonomy of Argyrosomus
species, neotypes are selected for A. hololepidotus and A. japonicus .
The biology, distributions and fisheries of six species are reviewed.
Distribution patterns for the southern African species and a key to the
seven species known from Africa and Madagascar (A. regius, A. japonicus,
A. inodorus, A. coronus, A. thorpei, A. beccus, and A. hololepidotus)
are provided. The composition and distinction of the genus Argyrosomus
are briefly discussed.