The number of goatfish species has increased recently, thanks in part to the application of molecular approaches to the taxonomy of a family with conservative morphology and widespread intraspecific color variation. A new subspecies Mulloidichthys flavolineatus flavicaudus Fernandez-Silva & Randall is described from the Red Sea and Arabian Sea, including Socotra and Gulf of Oman. It is characterized by a yellow caudal fin, 25–28 gill rakers, and 37–38 lateral-line scales and it is differentiated from nominal subspecies M. flavolineatus flavolineatus by 1.7% sequence divergence at the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The morphometric examination of specimens of M. f. flavolineatus revealed variation in head length, eye diameter, and barbel length, in western direction from the Hawaiian Islands, South Pacific, Micronesia, and the East Indies to the Indian Ocean. The population of Mulloidichthys f. flavicaudus subsp. n. in the Gulf of Aqaba differs from that of the remaining Red Sea by shorter barbels, smaller eyes, shorter head, and shorter pelvic fins. We present a list of 26 endemic fishes from the Gulf of Aqaba and discuss the probable basis for the endemism in the light of the geological history of this region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics