Friday, 16 May 2014

New Species Of Sea Bass Identified Based On Larval, Adult Specimen

May 14, 2014

Brett Smith for – Your Universe Online

Thanks to a lot of hard work and a little luck – two scientists from the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution have identified a mysterious larval fish and the same fish in its adult stage as a new species of sea bass.

Most fish that live in the ocean have a pelagic larval stage that floats inside the surface or near-surface currents, an ecosystem very distinct from the one they occupy as adults. Two distinct environments often call for two distinct physiques and appearances to maximize the odds of survival, leading to larvae that appear very different from the adults of the same species.

The newly identified fish, described in a new report published on Tuesday in the journal PLOS ONE, first came to the attention of researchers via a photograph in a previous study. It was identified as a member of the sea bass family Serranidae, but its seven very elongated dorsal-fin spines made it a very unique looking specimen.

“This feature isn’t known in any Atlantic sea bass larvae, but it is similar to one species of Indo-Pacific sea bass,” said study author David Johnson, a zoologist at the Smithsonian museum. “We initially thought the larva must have been caught in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, but we were wrong.”

However, the fish larva in the photo was identified as being captured in the Florida Straits — the body of water located between Florida and Cuba.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails