Tuesday, July 30, 2013

[Ichthyology • 2013] Himantura tutul | Fine-spotted Leopard Whipray • a new ocellated whipray (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae) from the tropical Indo-West Pacific, described from its cytochrome-oxidase I gene sequence

Fine-spotted Leopard Whipray
 Himantura tutul Borsa, Durand, Shen, Arlyza, Solihin & Berrebi 2013

It has been previously established that the Leopard Whipray, Himantura leoparda, consists of two genetically isolated, cryptic species, provisionally designated as ‘Cluster 1’ and ‘Cluster 4’ (Arlyza et al., Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 65 (2013) [1]). Here, we show that the two cryptic species differ by the spotting patterns on the dorsal surface of adults: Cluster-4 individuals tend to have larger-ocellated spots, which also more often have a continuous contour than Cluster-1 individuals. We show that H. leoparda's holotype has the typical larger-ocellated spot pattern, designating Cluster 4 as the actual H. leoparda. The other species (Cluster 1) is described as Himantura tutul sp. nov. on the basis of the nucleotide sequence of a 655-base pair fragment of its cytochrome-oxidase I gene (GenBank accession No. JX263335). Nucleotide synapomorphies at this locus clearly distinguish H. tutul sp. nov. from all three other valid species in the H. uarnak species complex, namely H. leoparda, H. uarnak, and H. undulata. H. tutul sp. nov. has a wide distribution in the Indo-West Pacific, from the shores of eastern Africa to the Indo-Malay archipelago. H. leoparda under its new definition has a similarly wide Indo-West Pacific distribution.

Keywords: Himantura leoparda; New species; Molecular taxonomy; COI; Cytochrome b

Etymology: We chose as epithet of the new species the Malay word tutul, which means “spotted” and which designates the spots of the leopard, Panthera pardus (“macan tutul” in Malay language). Thus, the new species was named after the leopard-like markings on the dorsal surface of large specimens (> 1000 mm DW). We propose as the English vernacular name: Fine-spotted Leopard Whipray, to distinguish it from the Leopard Whipray, Himantura leoparda, which has larger spots. We propose as the French vernacular name raie léopard à petites taches and as the Malay vernacular name pari tutul kecil.

Marine Biologists Identify New Species of Venomous Whipray

Philippe Borsa, Jean-Dominique Durand, Kang-Ning Shen, Irma S. Arlyza, Dedy D. Solihin, Patrick Berrebi. 2013. Himantura tutul sp. nov. (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae), a new ocellated whipray from the tropical Indo-West Pacific, described from its cytochrome-oxidase I gene sequence. Comptes Rendus Biologies (C R Biol.). 336(2): 82-92. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crvi.2013.01.004 

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