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23. Zeugopterus Regius

23. Zeugopterus Regius

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07/23/2009

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 JMBA2 - Biodiversity Records
Published on-line
New meristic and descriptive data for Echstrom’s topknot
 Zeugopterusregius
(Pleuronectiformes: Scophthalmidae) from Galician waters(North-east Atlantic)
R.Bañón
 
Asociación Cientíca de Biología Marina ‘Augamar’, c/ Fragoso 93–5º I; 36210 Vigo, Spain. E-mail: anoplogaster@yahoo.es
New meristic and descriptive data of Eckström’s topknot
 Zeugopterus regius
(Pleuronectiformes:
Scophthalmidae) from Galician waters (north-west Spain) is presented. The presence of a highernumber of dorsal and anal n rays as well as more than one elongated ray in the dorsal n isdescribed for the rst time. Furthermore, other distinctive characters poorly known as the fringe-like appearance of rst dorsal ray and numbers of distinct round-blotches on the body are reviewed.Length distribution and length-weight relationship were also shown.
INTRODUCTION
The genus
 Zeugopterus
comprises two species (Chanet, 2003); both are distributed in the North-
east Atlantic and recorded in Galician waters: the topknot
 Zeugopterus punctatus
(Bloch, 1787)
and Eckström’s topknot
 Zeugopterus regius
(Bonnaterre, 1788).
 Zeugopterus regius
occurs from the
British Isles to Morocco and in the Mediterranean (Nielsen, 1986; Lloris & Rucabado, 1998). Itinhabits coastal waters from 10 to 180 m depth (Quéro et al., 2003), although Lozano y Rey (1960)reported this species from Portuguese waters between 233 and 300 m depth.In the Galician region, Eckström’s topknot is a scarce species of minor commercial importancewhich is usually discarded. The biology of 
 Z. regius
is poorly known; the same morphological andmeristic characters are invariably used to describe the species in most of the sh faunas of recent
decades. These reports indicate that the description of Eckström’s topknot is incomplete because the
number of available specimens is limited. The aim of the current study is to re-describe Eckström’s
topknot based on specimens collected from the natural environment in Galician waters.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
The study area covered the coastal waters of Galicia(north-west Spain), between the river Miño outlet(41º50'N 9º40'W) and the river Eo outlet (43º32'N7º01'W). Specimens of 
 Zeugopterus regius
were collected
during a monitoring program of artisanal sheries carriedout by Unidade Técnica de Pesca de Baixura (UTPB) of Xunta de Galicia. During the period 2001–2005, a total of 83 specimens were caught between 2 and 71 m depth withseveral coastal shing gears, mainly beam trawls, beachseines and gill nets.On board, total length (TL) to the nearest cm and totalweight to the nearest g was noted. Twenty three specimenswere preserved refrigerated or frozen for further analysis.In the laboratory, measurements and meristic characterswere recorded according to Norman (1934) and gonadswere observed macroscopically to determine sex. Thespecimens were stored in the sh collection of the Institutode Ciencias del Mar de Barcelona (ICICMB) [ReferenceNumbers IIPB 21/2006 to IIPB 43/2006].
RESULTS
 Zeugopterus regius
(Bonnaterre, 1788)TL ranged between 4 and 22 cm (Figure 1). Sex wasdetermined in 21 specimens, 6 males between 82 and 103mm and 15 females between 86 and 124 mm. The length-
Figure 1.
Length distribution in catches of 
 Zeugopterus regius
.
Figure 2.
Length-weight relationship of 
 Zeugopterus regius
.
 
R. Bañón
New descriptive data of 
Zeugopterus regius
 JMBA2 - Biodiversity RecordsPublished on-line
2weight relationship was described by the following equation:W = 0.019*L
3.0045
(N=79, R
2
=0.8925) (Figure 2)
Diagnosis
The range of counts is followed by the mean ±SD inparentheses. D: 80–88 (84.7 ±1.9); A: 64–72 (68.3 ±1.9); P: 10–13(10.5 ±0.8); V: 6; C: 16; gillrakers in rst arch: 4–6+11–12=15–18;branchiostegal rays: 7. The number of scales in lateral line werevery difcult to count and therefore undetermined.The percentage range of lengths in standard length (SL) isfollowed by the mean ±SD in parentheses: head length 26.2–36.4(30.7 ±2.4); mouth length: 8.8–13.6 (10.7 ±1.4); preorbital length:5.9–11.5 (7.5 ±1.1); postorbital length: 13.1–20.5 (16.3 ±1.5);eye length: 5.3–9.4 (6.9 ±1.1); rst dorsal n ray length. 9.3–15.6(11.6 ±1.5); predorsal length: 3.4–11.7 (6.5 ±1.6); dorsal baselength: 82.6–95.5 (90.6 ±2.9); preanal length: 12.9–25.0 (18.5±3.1); anal base length: 72.1–86.3 (80.1 ±3.6); pectoral length:15.5–20.4 (17.3 ±1.3); blotch diameter: 5.6–9.6 (7.6 ±1.0); bodydepth: 45.2–57.3 (52.7 ±3.3) and body width: 6.3–14.0 (10.5 ±1.5).
Description
Body oval and compressed, body depth about two times in SL; small head; deep notch in front of the upper eye; snout about as long as eye; mouth terminal, oblique, with a little knob on lower jaw;eyes oval, protruding, closely set, separated by a little prominent interorbital ridge; lower eye slightlyin advance of upper; maxillary extending to middle part of eye, rst dorsal n ray free, thickened,elongated and branched, appearing frayed or fringe-like, normally divided to medium height or lessin two main branches subdivided into secondary branches of different heights with 2 to 5 lamentsdistally (Figure 3) [Two abnormal specimens had more than one elongated rays in the dorsal n: afemale specimen of 110 mm SL had the rst four elongated rays decreasing posteriorly in length anda female of 105 mm SL had the two rst elongated rays of similar length]; body and rays scaled; smalland heavily toothed scales on ocular side, with 4–7 smaller teeth on the free edge of each scale,giving a rough surface; ctenoid scales on blind side; terminal rays of dorsal and anal ns divided toits base on the underside of body forming lobes, all other rays divided at their extremities; ventraln small with the last ray double; pectoral and caudal ns with marginal n rays simple, all other raysbranched; only one distinct round blotch towards tail-end of the lateral line.Colour on ocular side brownish with irregular dusky, reddish spots and blotches on head andbody; dorsal and anal ns with a series of dark blotches; distinctive circular blotch towards tail-end,reddish inside with a black ring externally; blind side white.
DISCUSSION
The at morphology, relatively small size and low abundance of this species probably explainstheir low gear catchability. These facts, together with their minor commercial interest, could explainthe scarcity of biological data and limited knowledge on
 Zeugopterus regius
. In the eastern Atlantic,the main literature dealing with
 Z. regius
relates to specimens from the British Isles area (Day,1880–1884; Norman, 1934; Wheeler, 1969) with very little information from either French (Cazaux& Labourg, 1973; Quéro et al., 1989) or Spanish areas (Lozano y Rey, 1960).The results exhibited sexual dimorphism, with females reaching a larger size than males, aspreviously noted in other atsh species (Nash & Geffen, 2005). The maximum TL found in thecurrent study was 22 cm, similar to that previously reported; 20 cm SL (Nielsen, 1986).The main diagnosis of the current specimens agreed with those previously reported by other
authors but there were some differences and inaccuracies.
The number of dorsal and anal n rays was higher than previously described. Dorsal n raycounts ranged from 80 to 88 in Galician specimens compared with 70 to 80 previously reported inthe literature, while anal n ray counts ranged from 64 to 72 compared with 60 to 68 in previouspapers. Prior to the current study, the greatest number of dorsal (70
 – 
80) and anal (60
 – 
68) n raycounts were reported by Norman (1934) apparently based on the examination of 14 specimensfrom several locations in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. The higher number of specimensexamined in the current study (23) from a more restricted area might explain these differences.Furthermore, regional differences in dorsal and anal n ray counts may indicate the presence of different populations as noted in other Scophthalmid species (Bagge & Nielsen, 1993; Chanet et al.2003).
Figure 3.
Detail of rst elongated dorsal n ray of 
 Zeugopterus regius
.

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