The Indian handfish, Halieutaea indica Annandale & Jenkins, 1910 (Lophiiformes: Ogcocephalidae), an additional fish species for the Gulf of Oman

Fereidoon OWFI, Fatah ZAREI, Reza SADEGHI, Hamid Reza ESMAEILI

Abstract

Batfishes of the family Ogcocephalidae are a group of Lophiiformes found in tropical and subtropical marine waters with specific morphological adaptations for a deep-water benthic lifestyle. This study, morphologically and genetically documents a considerable range extension of Indo-Pacific batfish Halieutaea indica into the northern part of the Gulf of Oman, and confirms the presence of more shared fish elements of the Gulf of Oman with the Indian Ocean. This wide distribution range and new occurrence records might be due to: (i) species discoveries and range revisions as result of progress and improvement in oceanographic expeditions and explorations expeditions in the region, (ii) high mobility or dispersal ability of eggs or larvae, as a key requirement to achieve widely and almost global distribution, and (iii) anthropological activities resulting introduction and translocation of new fish elements to the area. DNA barcoding based on the mitochondrial COI gene sequences revealed that the batfish specimens from the Gulf of Oman ecoregion are grouped with H. indica, and proved to be genetically conspecific.

Keywords

Anglerfish, Batfish, Distribution, Phylogeny, Morphology, DNA barcoding.

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References

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