Saturday, December 9, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Redescription of the Bump-head Sunfish Mola alexandrini (Ranzani 1839), senior synonym of Mola ramsayi (Giglioli 1883), with Designation of A Neotype for Mola mola (Linnaeus 1758) (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae)


Mola alexandrini (Ranzani 1839)
Sawai, Yamanoue, Nyegaard & Sakai, 2017.  

Abstract
The genus Mola of ocean sunfishes (family Molidae) is currently composed of three species: Mola mola (Linnaeus 1758), Mola ramsayi (Giglioli 1883), and Mola tecta Nyegaard et al. 2017. For a comprehensive revision of the genus, both literature survey and morphological investigations of Molidae were conducted. We found Mola alexandrini (Ranzani 1839) to be synonymous with M. ramsayi and we herein redescribe Malexandrini based on the rediscovered dried holotype and 21 other fresh and preserved specimens. Mola alexandrini can be distinguished from other species of Mola by the following combination of characters in adults: head profile with bump; chin with bump; body scales rectangular; clavus rounded, supported by 14–24 (mode 17) clavus fin rays and 8–15 (12) ossicles on the rear margin. A neotype of M. mola is designated for comparison with M. alexandrini, as these two species have long been confused.

Keywords: Morphology, Neotype, Ocean sunfish, Redescription, Synonymy 

Mola alexandrini  bump-head sunfish

photo: Hasama Underwater Park 

Mola alexandrini (Ranzani 1839)
(Japanese name: Ushi-manbo; New English name: Bump-head sunfish)  

Orthragoriscus alexandrini Ranzani 1839:...
Orthragoriscus ramsayi Giglioli 1883:...
Orthagoriscus mola: Williams 1893:...
Masturus lanceolatus (not of Liénard): Gudger 1937: ...

Mola mola (not of Linnaeus): ...
Mola ramsayi: Whitley 1931...
Mola ramsayi Atlantic group: Bass et al. 2005: ....

Mola mola group A: Yoshita et al. 2005: 171.
Mola sp. group A: Yoshita et al. 2009: ....
Mola sp. A: Sawai et al. 2009....

Distribution and ecological notes. Mola alexandrini is widely distributed in the world’s oceans except for the polar regions (Fig. 5a; ESM Table S1); collected from waters off Japan, Taiwan, Galápagos Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Oman, and Spain (Yamanoue et al. 2004, 2010; Bass et al. 2005; Sagara et al. 2005; Yoshita et al. 2005, 2009; Sawai et al. 2009, 2011, 2017a; Yamanoue and Sawai 2012; Thys et al. 2013, Ahuir-Baraja et al. 2017; Nyegaard et al. 2017). Mola alexandrini presumably prefers warmer water temperatures than inhabited by Mola mola; in waters off the Sanriku coast of Japan, sea surface temperatures during the occurrence of M. alexandrini (16.8–25.6°C, average 19.9°C) were on average higher than during the occurrence of M. mola (11.5–25.6°C, average 17.7°C) (Sawai et al. 2011).


Etsuro Sawai, Yusuke Yamanoue, Marianne Nyegaard and Yoichi Sakai. 2017. Redescription of the Bump-head Sunfish Mola alexandrini (Ranzani 1839), senior synonym of Mola ramsayi (Giglioli 1883), with Designation of A Neotype for Mola mola (Linnaeus 1758) (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae). Ichthyological Research.  DOI: 10.1007/s10228-017-0603-6


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