An 829-bp fragment of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (NADH2) gene was used to assess the taxonomic status of 1487 elasmobranch specimens, representing 52 putative species. Strong evidence was found for the existence of an undescribed Echinorhinus species and for cryptic speciation within Rhynchobatus djiddensis. The results also provide strong molecular support for the existence of two previously reported, but undescribed, guitarfish species. Potential, but less conclusive, cryptic lineage diversification was also noted in Carcharhinus leucas, Loxodon macrorhinus, Iago omanensis and Gymnura poecilura. A complex situation was found in the genus Himantura, with potentially three distinct lineages evident, one of which is probably an undescribed species, in the H. gerrardi complex. One dasyatid specimen could not be identified, but appears to be closely related to Dasyatis ushiei, while Himantura leoparda and Carcharhinus longimanus are reported from Oman for the first time. The results of the present study also reinforce previously reported geographical divisions within certain putative species, which has important implications for fishery management and conservation.
- Cryptic speciation
- Indian Ocean
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology