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Review of Blenniid fishes from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil, with description of a new species of Scartella (Teleostei: Blenniidae)

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Abstract

Species of the family Blenniidae from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (03°51'S, 32°26'W), an oceanic island 345 km off northeastern Brazil, are reviewed in this study, which includes the description of a new species of Scartella. The new species differs from its congeners by the combination of the following characters: well-marked diagonal dark line just under the eye, tiny black spots on the head, small black and white spots along the body, 14 segmented dorsal-fin rays, 15 segmented anal-fin rays, and 23 caudal vertebrae. This is the second Scartella species described from Brazilian oceanic islands.
Accepted by L.A. Rocha: 17 Dec. 2008; published: 9 Feb. 2009
51
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ISSN 1175-5326 (print edition)
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Copyright © 2009 · Magnolia Press
Zootaxa 2006: 5161 (2009)
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Article
Review of blenniid fishes from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil, with
description of a new species of Scartella (Teleostei: Blenniidae)
CARLOS A. RANGEL
1
& LIANA F. MENDES
2
1
Laboratório de Biologia do Nécton e Ecologia Pesqueira, Departamento de Biologia Marinha, Pós-Graduação em Biologia
Marinha, Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Outeiro São João Batista, s/nº, CP: 100.644 - CEP: 24001-970, Niterói, Rio de
Janeiro, Brasil. E-mail: carangel@vm.uff.br
2
Departamento de Botânica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Centro de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN),
Campus Universitário s/n, BR 101, CEP: 59072-970, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brasil. E-mail: liana_oceanica@yahoo.com.br
Abstract
Species of the family Blenniidae from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (03°51’S, 32°26’W), an oceanic island 345 km
off northeastern Brazil, are reviewed in this study, which includes the description of a new species of Scartella. The new
species differs from its congeners by the combination of the following characters: well-marked diagonal dark line just
under the eye, tiny black spots on the head, small black and white spots along the body, 14 segmented dorsal-fin rays, 15
segmented anal-fin rays, and 23 caudal vertebrae. This is the second Scartella species described from Brazilian oceanic
islands.
Key words: Entomacrodus, Ophioblennius, oceanic islands, endemism, Western South Atlantic
Resumo
As espécies de Blenniidae do Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha (03°51’S, 32°26’W), ilha oceânica localizada a 345
km do nordeste do Brasil, são revisadas neste estudo com a descrição de uma nova espécie do gênero Scartella. A nova
espécie difere das suas congêneres pela seguinte combinação de caracteres: linha diagonal escura logo abaixo do olho
bem marcada, presença de minúsculos pontos negros na cabeça, presença de alguns pequenos pontos brancos e negros no
corpo, 14 raios dorsais, 15 raios anais e 23 vértebras caudais. A nova espécie de Scartella é a segunda espécie de
Blenniidae descrita das ilhas oceânicas Brasileiras.
Palavras-chave: Entomacrodus, Ophioblennius, Blenniidae, Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, Brasil, ilhas
oceânicas, endemismo, Atlântico ocidental
Introduction
The family Blenniidae is one of the most diverse among the Teleostei, with 391 species distributed in
approximately 56 genera (Eschmeyer & Fong, 2008). In Brazilian coastal waters the Blenniidae is represented
by 10 species and at least two additional new species being described, known from Brazilian oceanic islands
(São Pedro e São Paulo Archipelago – 00º55N 29º21W, Atol das Rocas – 03º50’S 33º49’W, Fernando de
Noronha Archipelago – 03º51’ 32º26’W, and Trindade Island – 20º30’S 29º20W).
Currently, six species of the genus Scartella are recognized: Scartella cristata (Linnaeus, 1758), in the
Western Atlantic, from Bermuda and the Caribbean Sea to Southeastern Brazil, and in the Eastern Atlantic,
from the Mediterranean Sea and Northwestern Morocco to South Africa; S. nuchifillis (Valenciennes, 1836),
RANGEL & MENDES52 · Zootaxa 2006 © 2009 Magnolia Press
endemic to Ascension Island; S. springeri (Bauchot, 1966), endemic to Santa Helena Island; S. caboverdiana
Bath, 1990, endemic to the Cape Verde Archipelago; S. emarginata (Günther, 1861), the only non-Atlantic
species of the genus occurring in the Indo-Pacific, from Southeastern Africa to Southeastern Asia; and S. poiti
(Rangel, Gasparini & Guimarães, 2004), endemic to Trindade Island, Brazil.
In this paper, a seventh species of Scartella is described from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil.
Fernando de Noronha Archipelago is a National Marine Park (FNNMP) located in the Western South Atlantic
Ocean, off the northeastern coast of Brazil. It is located near the Southern Atlantic submarine ridge and
represents the emerged peaks of the Fernando de Noronha submarine mountain system (IUCN, 2000).
We here review the Blenniidae from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and conclude that the only Scartella
known from there represents a previously unrecognized new species.
Methods
All specimens were collected using hand-nets and small plastic bags, mostly in tide pools along rocky reefs,
during both day and night. Methods for counts and measurements follow Bath (1990). In the description,
values in parentheses are the count modes. Color nomenclature follows Kornerup & Wanscher (1961).
Specimen sizes for all paratypes, additional non-types, and comparative material are given in mm standard
length (SL). All type specimens are deposited in the fish collection of the Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (MNRJ). Institutional abbreviations are as listed in Leviton et al. (1985), except for LNEP-UFF
(Laboratório de Biologia do Nécton e Ecologia Pesqueira, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil), LOC-DBEZ-UFRN (Laboratório do Oceano do Departamento de Botânica, Ecologia e Zoologia da
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil), LBRP (Laboratório de Biodiversidade de Recursos
Pesqueiros, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), and UFPB (Universidade Federal da Paraíba,
Brazil).
Scartella itajobi new species
(Figures 1–5; Table I and II).
Synonyms. Scartella sp. Mendes, 2000; Mendes, 2006: 818, Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco, Brasil.
Holotype. MNRJ 31887, male, 45.7 mm SL, Praia do Atalaia (03°51’S; 32°26’W), Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago, Brazil. (see Fig. 1 and Table I)
Paratypes. MNRJ 31888, 2 males, 39.6 – 39.9, and 2 females, 41.1 – 47, same data as holotype. (see
Table I)
Additional non-type specimens. UFPB 6090 (10 exs.; 27,0 – 50,0), Brazil, Pernambuco, Fernando de
Noronha Archipelago, Praia do Boldró, collector L.F. Mendes, May 1998; LBRP 5613 (10 exs.; 21 – 35.2),
Brazil, Pernambuco, Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Baía do Sueste, collector P.N.S. Costa, 18 June 2000;
MNRJ 31889 (5 exs.; 39.9 – 47.2) Brazil, Atol das Rocas (03º50’S 33º49’W), collectors L.F. Mendes & C.
Sampaio, 20 October 2002; LNEP-UFF 193 (4 exs.; 41.6 – 43.1) Brazil, Atol das Rocas (03º50’S 33º49’W),
collectors L.F. Mendes & C. Sampaio, 22 October 2002.
Comparative material: Scartella cristata (Linnaeus, 1758): LBRP 3525, 1 ex.: 72.1, Copacabana, Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil; LBRP 5302, 1 ex.: 28.4, Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; UFPB 4000, 3 of 63 exs.:
26.5-32.3, Paraíba, Brazil; ZUEC 3154, 2 exs.: 67.7-67.9, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil; MCP 25826, 1 ex.:
72.3, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; USNM 37412, 1 ex.: 88.6, Cuba, Caribbean Sea; ANSP 143431, 7 exs.: 42.7-
80.5, Venezuela, Caribbean Sea; AMS I-31606001, 1 ex.: 82.9, Italy, Mediterranean Sea; ZMH 17966, 1 ex.:
46.0, Cameroon, west Africa; Scartella nuchifilis (Valenciennes, 1836): USNM 285039, 14 exs.: 27.2-54.9,
Ascension Island; Scartella springeri (Bauchot, 1966): USNM 280137, 10 exs.: 31.0-59.3, St. Helena Island;
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BLENNIID REVIEW WITH A NEW SCARTELLA SPECIES
Scartella caboverdiana (Bath, 1990): SMF 18032, Holotype, 1 ex.: 39.8, Cabo Verde Archipelago; SMF
18033, Paratype, 5 exs.: 28.8-36.7, Cabo Verde Archipelago; Scartella poiti (Rangel, Gasparini & Guimarães,
2004): MNRJ 21975, Holotype (male), 1 ex.: 85.4, Ponta da Calheta, Ilha da Trindade, Espírito Santo, Brazil,
depth 0-1m, collected by J. L. Gasparini, 30 March 1999; Paratypes: LBRP 5616 (female), 1 ex.: 71.6,
Enseada dos Portugueses, Ilha da Trindade, Espírito Santo, Brazil, collected by J. L. Gasparini, 07-08 April
2001; LBRP 5617 (female): 71.8, Ilha da Trindade, Espírito Santo, Brazil, collected by J. L. Gasparini, 29-04
Apr 1999; MNRJ 21976 (male): 79.3, Ponta da Calheta, Ilha da Trindade, Espírito Santo, Brazil, collected by
J. L. Gasparini, 29-04 Apr 1999.
TABLE I. Morphometric and meristic data from selected type specimens of Scartella itajobi sp. n.. Measurements are
expressed as percentages of standard length, except orbital diameter (expressed as percentage of head length).
FIGURE 1. Scartella itajobi, n. sp., holotype MNRJ 31887, 45.7 mm SL, male, Praia do Atalaia, Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago, Brazil. (Photo: Carlos A. Rangel)
Diagnosis. Scartella itajobi n. sp. is distinguished from its Atlantic congeners by the following
combination of characters: a small blue spot on the 2
nd
dorsal spine (noted mainly in adult males), head with
tiny black spots (vs. speckles absent in Scartella cristata), modally 14 segmented dorsal-fin rays (vs. 15 in S.
cristata from Brazilian localities, S. caboverdiana, and S. nuchifilis; and 16 in S. springeri), modally 15
segmented anal-fin rays (vs. 16 in S. poiti, 17 in S. cristata from Brazilian localities, S. caboverdiana, and S.
nuchifilis; and 18 in S. springeri), and modally 23 caudal vertebrae (vs. 24 in S. cristata from other Brazilian
localities, S. caboverdiana, and S. nuchifilis; and 25 in S. springeri) (see Table II).
MNRJ 31887
Holotype
MNRJ 31888
Paratype
MNRJ 31888
Paratype
MNRJ 31888
Paratype
MNRJ 31888
Paratype
Standard length (mm) 45.7 47.0 41.1 39.9 39.6
Head length 24.9 23.6 27.3 27.8 26.0
Orbit diameter 24.6 29.7 26.8 26.1 26.2
Pectoral-fin length 25.2 27.0 27.3 28.3 29.5
Pelvic-fin length 14.9 15.1 16.6 16.3 16.2
Dorsal-fin rays XII-14 XII-14 XII-14 XII-14 XII-15
Anal-fin rays 16 16 15 15 16
Pectoral rays 14 14 14 14 14
RANGEL & MENDES54 · Zootaxa 2006 © 2009 Magnolia Press
TABLE II. Frequency distribution in counts of dorsal and anal rays in species of the genus Scartella from several
localities of Atlantic Ocean, including the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago. Bold data in X columns indicates
detectable differences in the Brazilian species mean.
Description. Dorsal-fin rays XII, 13 – 15 (14), 13 in 3 specimens and 15 in only 2 specimens. Anal-fin
rays II, 15 – 16 (15), 16 in 30% of specimens; segmented caudal-fin rays 8; pectoral-fin rays 14; pelvic-fin
rays I, 3; caudal vertebrae 23 – 24 (23).
A single dorsal fin present; lateral line short, never extending beyond the 1st segmented dorsal ray. Cirri
present in the anterior nasal opening, on top of eyes, and in the nuchal area (a longitudinal line of tentacles
between the eyes and the origin of the 1st dorsal spine). Pelvic fin with the third segmented ray tightly joined
to the second and separated only in their extremity by a thin membrane.
Body moderately elongate, without scales. Mouth low on the head and horizontal; maxilla reaching
posteriorly to a vertical through the centre of eye. Two short canine teeth posteriorly in the dentary, at edge of
incisiform series, but never on premaxilla.
Color pattern in life. Markedly variable depending on habitat. Body with a light green and caramel
(juveniles and females) to dark-brown background color (adult reproductive males); most individuals with six
dark brown irregular bars on body (see Fig. 2); upper half of body next to the basis of dorsal fin with small
white spots; head with diagonal dark line, well marked just below the eye, separating a light cream area which
extends from snout to the cheek (see Figs. 2 and 3); lips pale green to light brown with cream-colored borders;
presence of tiny dark spots on head and anterior region of body (mainly on the base of pectoral fins). Small
nuchal cirri striped with dark brown and light green. Interradial membranes of the dorsal fin green to light
brown with small white blotches. Posteriomedial region of body speckled with small dark brown spots.
Caudal fin with brown irregular bands. Blue ocellated spot present in membranes between the 1st and 3rd
dorsal spines (well marked in adult males).
Color in alcohol: Body with a light brown to dark-brown background color; usually six dark irregular
bars on body; lower half of body usually paler; head and antero-ventral portion (including the lips and pelvic
fins) always light brown lacking small dark spots. Posterior portion of body, membrane of the dorsal fin,
proximal portion of the anal-fin, pectoral fin, and caudal fin speckled with small dark spots. These spots are
more concentrated on the posteriomedial region of the body. A dark spot (blue in life) is usually present in the
membranes between the 1st and 3rd dorsal spines. Juveniles with cream body coloration and bleached fins
with very few dark spots.
Geographic range, habitat and natural history. Scartella itajobi n. sp. was collected in shallow-waters
and tide pools of the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (03°51’S, 32°26’W); a volcanic island located 345
km off northeastern Brazil. This archipelago's 20 islands are characterized by clear waters, low coral diversity
Dorsal rays Anal rays
Species n localities 13 14 15 16 17 X 14 15 16 17 18 X
S. nuchifilis 9 Ascension Island - 4 5 - - 14.6 - 1 2 6 - 16.6
S. springeri 8 St. Helena Island - - 1 5 2 16.1 - 1 4 3 17.3
S. caboverdiana 6 Cabo Verde
Archipelago
- - 6 - - 15.0 - 2 4 - 16.7
S. cristata 12 Mediterranean Sea - 7 5 - - 14.4 - 7 5 - 16.4
S. cristata 13 African coast - 4 9 - - 14.7 - 10 3 - 16.2
S. cristata 27 Caribbean Sea - 8 19 - - 14.7 - 1 24 2 - 16.0
S. cristata 48 Brazilian coast - 7 33 8 - 15.0 - 1 11 31 5 16.8
S. poiti 28 Trindade Island, Brazil 3 22 3 - - 14.0 - 12 16 - - 15.6
Scartella itajobi
n. sp.
34 Fernando de Noronha
Archipelago, Brazil
3 23 8 - - 14.1 1 20 13 - - 15.4
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BLENNIID REVIEW WITH A NEW SCARTELLA SPECIES
and are influenced by the warm South Equatorial Current and Atlantic Equatorial Current (Sampaio et al.,
2004). The new species also occurs in Atol das Rocas (sensu Moura & Rosa, 1997; L. Mendes, pers. obs.), an
atoll formed by the growth of reefs on the submerged peaks of the submarine ridge distant 100 km to the west
of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago. It is also the only atoll in the South Atlantic Ocean and one of the
smallest in the world (IUCN, 2000). The specimens from Atol das Rocas have similar counts and color
patterns (see Fig. 4) to those of the new species. Thus, we consider the specimens from Atol das Rocas to be
conspecific making Scartella itajobi n. sp. an endemic of the Noronha-Rocas island complex. Other endemic
reef fishes are commonly found in the Noronha-Rocas insular complex (e.g. Stegastes rocasensis (Emery);
Storrsia olsoni Dawson; Starksia multilepis Williams & Mounts; Elacatinus sp.; Lythrypnus sp.;
Malacoctenus sp.; Xyrichthys incandescens Edwards & Lubbock). Like its congeners, Scartella itajobi n. sp.
is extremely tolerant to salinity and temperature variations (Bauchot & Pras, 1993; Mendes, 2000; Mendes,
2006).
FIGURE 2. Pair of Scartella itajobi, n. sp., male (right) and female (left), rock pool of Praia do Boldró, Fernando de
Noronha Archipelago, Brazil. (Photo: Sergio R. Floeter)
The new species of Scartella was frequently observed in tide pools of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago
(Mendes, 2006), co-inhabitants include other blennies (Ophioblennius trinitatis and Entomacrodus
vomerinus), gobies (Bathygobius aff. soporator and Coryphopterus glaucofraenum), labrisomids (Labrisomus
nuchipinnis, Labrisomus kalisherae, Starksia multilepis and an undescribed species of the genus
Malacoctenus), Rocas damselfish (Stegastes rocasensis), wrasses (Thalassoma noronhanum), and a few
morays (Echidna catenata, Enchelycore carychroa). In this study, some individuals of the new species were
also found in small crevices of emerged rocks (2 meters above sea surface), remaining up to 20 minutes out of
the water, probably avoiding predators.
Etymology. The name of the species signifies “green stone or emerald” (ita = stone; jobi =green) in
“Tupi”, the native South-American language once spoken in Brazil, and refers to the emerald-green color of
individuals of the new species (see Figure 3) and an allusion of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, the type
locality of new species, known by “The Emerald of Atlantic”.
Remarks. Until now, individuals of Scartella from Fernando de Noronha Archipelago were misidentified
as S. cristata (Fig. 5), the same species reported from the Brazilian coast. Scartella itajobi n. sp. was
previously misidentified as S. cristata possibly due its cryptic behavior and resemblance to this species. A
similar misidentification happened with Scartella poiti (Rangel, Gasparini & Guimarães, 2004), recently
described from another Brazilian oceanic island (Trindade Island), which had previously been identified as S.
cristata (Rangel, 2003; Rangel et al., 2004).
RANGEL & MENDES56 · Zootaxa 2006 © 2009 Magnolia Press
FIGURE 3. Scartella itajobi, n. sp., typical behavior in rock pools, Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil. (Photo:
Sergio R. Floeter)
FIGURE 4. Scartella itajobi, n. sp., rock pool at Atol das Rocas, Brazil. (Photo: Bertran Feitoza)
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BLENNIID REVIEW WITH A NEW SCARTELLA SPECIES
FIGURE 5. Scartella cristata, rock pool in Abrolhos Area, NE Brazil. (Photo by R. Z. P. Guimarães)
Ophioblennius trinitatis Miranda-Ribeiro, 1919
(Figure 6).
Synonyms. Ophioblennius trinitatis Miranda-Ribeiro, 1919: (original description, Ilha da Trindade, east off Brazil)
Ophioblennius atlanticus (not Valenciennes, 1836): Mendes, 2000; Gasparini and Floeter, 2001; Muss et al., 2001;
Feitoza et al., 2003; Mendes, 2007.
Material examined: UFPB 6088 (1 lot; 10 specimens: 42.0 – 56.3 mm SL), Brazil, Pernambuco, Fernando
de Noronha Archipelago, Praia do Boldró, collector L.F. Mendes, June 1998.
Diagnosis. Ophioblennius trinitatis differs from its congeners by the following combination of characters:
modally 22 segmented dorsal-fin rays (vs. 20 in O. macclurei); and modally 23 segmented anal-fin rays (vs.
21 in O. macclurei; 25 in O. atlanticus and O. steindachneri). Counts of other species of Ophioblennius are
those of Springer (1962) and Hankins & Baldwin (2002).
Description. Dorsal-fin rays XII, 21 – 22 (22), anal-fin rays II, 23 - 24, segmented caudal-fin rays 8;
pectoral-fin rays 15. Presence of a dark-brown spot, located immediately after the ocular globe, of similar or
lesser size to the diameter of the pupil; border of eyes with bluish coloration, well marked in superior and
inferior margins (see Fig. 6).
Color pattern in life. Adults exhibit a brown uniform coloration with pale yellowish fins (see Fig. 6).
Darker body in anterior upper region and clear ventrally. Lips light-brown to yellowish contrasting with the
coloration of the head and body. Juveniles may present bicolor pattern, with the anterior half portion olive
RANGEL & MENDES58 · Zootaxa 2006 © 2009 Magnolia Press
green and the posterior half yellowish. In stress situations exhibits a color pattern with transversal light and
dark stripes in the head area to the posterior portion of body (Mendes, 2000).
Geographic range, habitat and natural history. Occurs on the Brazilian coast and Brazilian oceanic
islands (São Pedro e São Paulo, Atol das Rocas, Fernando de Noronha, and Trindade). In Fernando de
Noronha two distinct morphotypes have been found. The distinguishing features between the two recognized
groups (in both young and adult specimens) include color differences, spatial distribution, behavior and
morphometrics (see Mendes, 2007). Until now, only one morphotype had been recorded at Atol das Rocas and
São Pedro e São Paulo (Mendes, 2007). In addition, in this study, O. trinitatis was observed at 53 m depth,
representing the only occurrence of this species in such depths. On several occasions, O. trinitatis was
observed being aggressive towards other Blenniidae species and fighting with them for shelter. The Rocas
Gregory, Stegastes rocasensis (Emery, 1972), a territorial herbivore very common in tide pools, was usually
observed chasing individuals of Bathygobius aff. soporator (Valenciennes, 1837), Entomacrodus vomerinus
(Valenciennes, 1836), Scartella itajobi n. sp. and Malacoctenus sp. (new undescribed species), and rarely
chasing exemplars of O. trinitatis, apparently because of their antagonistic behavior in interspecific
interactions (Mendes, 2000). Ophioblennius larvae are frequently captured in deep waters. The adults are
restricted to shallow waters and dwell among rocks and coral reefs (Bath, 1990), where there is considerable
wave action (Smith, 1997). Ophioblennius is reported to feed on filamentous algae (Randall, 1996).
FIGURE 6. Ophioblennius trinitatis at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil. (Photo: Fabio G. Ribeiro)
Remarks. Springer (1962), based on limited material then available, recognized two geographically
distinct subspecies based on morphological differences. The Atlantic subspecies, Ophioblennius atlanticus
macclurei, occurs in the Caribbean Sea and coastal waters of the southeast U.S.; O. a. atlanticus has an
extensive geographical distribution, ranging north to the Azores, south to St. Helena Island and Brazil, west to
the western Caribbean, and east to the west coast of Africa. The species (or subspecies) that occurs at
Bermuda, reported as O. atlanticus maccclurei, requires additional study. A molecular study (Muss et al.,
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BLENNIID REVIEW WITH A NEW SCARTELLA SPECIES
2001) examined the phylogeography of Ophioblennius by comparing a 630-bp region of mitochondrial
cytochrome b for 171 individuals from ten Atlantic and eastern Pacific localities (Hankins & Baldwin, 2002).
Their results suggest that Ophioblennius comprises six lineages, one Pacific, O. steindachneri, and five
Atlantic, which are geographically distributed as follows: 1) Brazil, 2) Caribbean/western Atlantic, 3) São
Tomé, 4) Azores/Cape Verde, and 5) mid-Atlantic (Ascension/St. Helena). Hence, according Hankins &
Baldwin (2002), there are at least five species of Ophioblennius that should be recognized in the Atlantic;
names are available in the literature for the following: Caribbean/western Atlantic: Ophioblennius macclurei
(Silvester); Brazil: Ophioblennius trinitatis Miranda-Ribeiro, Azores/Canaries/Madeira: Ophioblennius
atlanticus (Valenciennes). Therefore, the Ophioblennius species present in Brazilian coastal waters and at
some adjacent oceanic islands, is distinct from the other Atlantic species and an available name for this
species is Ophioblennius trinitatis (Miranda-Ribeiro, 1919), which we use in this study.
Entomacrodus vomerinus (Valenciennes, 1836)
(Figure 7).
Synonyms. Salarias vomerinus Valenciennes, 1836 (original description; Bahia, Brasil)
Entomacrodus vomerinus: Springer, 1972; Mendes, 2000: 49, Arquipélago de Fernando de Noronha, Pernambuco,
Brasil.
Material examined: UFPB 6089 (1 lot; 10 specimens: 44.9 – 73.3 mm SL), Brazil, Pernambuco, Fernando de
Noronha Archipelago, Praia do Boldró, collector L.F. Mendes, August 1998.
Diagnosis. A species of Entomacrodus distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of
characters: modally 16 segmented dorsal-fin rays (vs. 15 in E. nigricans, E. cadenati, and E. textilis), modally
17 segmented anal-fin rays (vs. 16 in E. nigricans, E. cadenati, and E. textilis). Counts for other species are
those of Springer (1967).
Description. Dorsal-fin rays XII, 14 – 16 (16), anal-fin rays II, 16 or 17, segmented caudal-fin rays 8;
pectoral-fin rays 14; pelvic-fin: I, 4. Variable coloration on head, generally darkish with one or two dark
stripes passing by the superior lips until eyes, continuing to the dorso-posterior region.
Color pattern in life. Body light-brown with six or seven dark-brown pairs of vertical bars (see Fig. 7).
Light lips with seven dark-brown stripes crossing vertically, with the central stripe aligned to the superior lip
from the inferior.
Geographic range, habitat and natural history. Entomacrodus vomerinus is endemic to Brazilian
waters occurring from the north coast of Brazil to the Bahia state coast (about 18ºS of latitude) also present at
all Brazilian oceanic islands. Almost exclusively a tide pool inhabitant; some specimens were observed two
meters above the line water, remaining up to 20 minutes out of water. At Fernando de Noronha during the
reproductive season (March/April) adult males are very dark with two green lines on head, passing through
the eyes and ending on the anteroventral region of head (Mendes, 2000, 2006).
Remarks. Individuals of E. vomerinus collected from the Brazilian coast and oceanic islands all have
similar counts and color patterns. The exception is Trindade island, an oceanic island about 1000 km off the
east coast of Brazil; specimens of Entomacrodus collected there have distinct coloration and a fewer numbers
of dorsal- and anal-fin rays (Gasparini, Rangel & Guimarães, in prep.). The occurrence of Entomacrodus
nigricans Gill, 1859 in the Brazilian coast and oceanic islands, listed by Menezes & Figueiredo (1985) and
Haimovici & Klippel (1999), were not confirmed and is probably a misidentification.
RANGEL & MENDES60 · Zootaxa 2006 © 2009 Magnolia Press
FIGURE 7. Entomacrodus vomerinus, at Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil. (Photo: Liana F. Mendes)
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank Águas Claras Dive Operator, IBAMA/Fernando de Noronha, Marinha do Brasil,
and Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro for a significant support and cooperation in this research. C. L. S.
Sampaio for helping in the field in Atol das Rocas. R. Z. P. Guimarães, F. G. Ribeiro, S. R. Floeter and B.
Feitoza for providing photos of species. A. Carvalho-Filho for providing valuable comments. We would also
like to thank W. F. Smith-Vaniz (referee) and L. A. Rocha (associate editor) for reviewing the manuscript,
with relevant comments and suggestions, and for English review. This work was part of a Master thesis by the
senior author (CAR) and doctorate thesis by 2
nd
author (LFM). Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento
Cientıfico e Tecnológico (CNPq), provided doctorate fellowships for LFM.
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... The rockpool blenny Entomacrodus vomerinus (Valenciennes, 1836) is endemic to the Tropical Southwestern Atlantic province (sensu [11]), inhabiting four of the five ecoregions [12], including two coastal (Northeastern Brazil, and Eastern Brazil) and two insular (São Pedro and São Paulo Islands; Fernando de Noronha and Rocas Atoll). The fifth oceanic ecoregion (Trindade and Martin Vaz Islands) is inhabited by an endemic closely related species [13,14]. ...
... The fifth oceanic ecoregion (Trindade and Martin Vaz Islands) is inhabited by an endemic closely related species [13,14]. As other congeneric species, E. vomerinus has pelagic larvae of unknown duration, the adults have a gregarious (group of three up to 40 individuals) and sedentary behavior, almost exclusively inhabiting shallow tidal pools [12,13], with small home ranges of near 2 x 2 m 2 [15]. Moreover, adults have amphibious habits, being observed up to 20 minutes out of the water [12,15]. ...
... As other congeneric species, E. vomerinus has pelagic larvae of unknown duration, the adults have a gregarious (group of three up to 40 individuals) and sedentary behavior, almost exclusively inhabiting shallow tidal pools [12,13], with small home ranges of near 2 x 2 m 2 [15]. Moreover, adults have amphibious habits, being observed up to 20 minutes out of the water [12,15]. This species is considered as "least concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) [16]. ...
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Morphological conservatism among closely related species often results in incongruent taxonomic classification between studies, leading to disagreements about the inferred evolutionary history of the species. This is the case in Mugil fishes, where extreme morphologic conservatism contrasts with wide distributions and high genetic divergence. To understand how these morphologically similar species evolved, it is necessary to 1) test whether taxonomically recognized species are independently evolving lineages, and 2) evaluate the timing and geographic context of the diversification of these lineages. Based on three mitochondrial genes and fossil data, we estimated a comprehensive time-calibrated phylogeny for 13 out of the 16 valid species of Mugil and tested the monophyly of each species. Our results indicate that the diversification of Mugil began nearly 30 MYA, during a period of large temperature fluctuations. Mugil cephalus, M. curema and M. rubrioculus all form relatively old groups (between 5 and 10 MYA) and form paraphyletic entities. Our study reinforces the general finding that morphologically and ecologically similar species may have long and independent evolutionary histories, which must be considered when assessing the evolution and conservation of such ecologically and economically important species.
... The Atlantic redlip blennies, genus Ophioblennius Gill 1860, were originally considered a single reef-fish species with two subspecies, Ophioblennius atlanticus atlanticus (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1836) and Ophioblennius atlanticus macclurei (Silvester 1915) (Springer, 1962). They have since been divided into five species (Muss et al., 2001;Patzner et al., 2009;Rangel & Mendes, 2009) In Brazil, Ophioblennius populations occur from the north-east (including oceanic islands) to the south of Santa Catarina state (Anderson et al., 2015), with a gap between Bahia and the north of Santa Catarina, where only a few stray individuals have been reported (Moura et al., 1999). ...
... This study is the first to show that Brazilian populations of Ophioblennius, which were previously believed to be a single species (O. trinitatis;Rangel & Mendes, 2009) that was widely distributed from north-eastern to southern Brazil and the Brazilian oceanic islands, are in fact two distinct species. The species O. trinitatis occurs in northeastern Brazil (Bahia as the southern limit) and the Brazilian oceanic islands, while the species that occurs in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil, is the same undescribed species that occurs in São Tomé and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea, Africa. ...
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An updated molecular phylogeny of the blenny genus Ophioblennius, with a focus on two geographically disjunct morphotypes observed in Brazil, is presented. The analyses showed that specimens from the north‐eastern Brazilian coast are the endemic redlip blenny Ophioblennius trinitatis, but specimens from the southern Brazilian coast are conspecific to an undescribed east Atlantic Ocean (Gulf of Guinea) species, previously unknown in Brazil. Possible explanations for this geographical pattern include: natural larval dispersal and rafting across the Atlantic; an unknown ecological attribute that enabled this species to colonize southern Brazil; oil platforms as introduction vectors. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... We used discrete tidal zone coding from Hundt et al. (2014a;subtidal, intertidal, supralittoral, or freshwater), in which species that occur in both subtidal and intertidal habitats were coded as intertidal. We obtained the maximum reported SL for each species from scientific articles (Springer 1967;Lal Mohan 1968;Springer and Smith-Vaniz 1968;Smith-Vaniz 1971Springer 1972Springer , 1976Springer , 1988Springer and Gomon 1975;Springer and Spreitzer 1977;Williams 1990Williams , 1988Carlson 1992;Springer and Williams 1994;Neat and Locatello 2002;Bath 2008;_ Ilkyaz et al. 2008;Rangel and Mendes 2009;Hundt et al. 2014a,b;Platt et al. 2016) and FishBase (Froese and Pauly 2020). ...
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Marine intertidal zones can be hasher and more dynamic than bordering subtidal zones, with extreme and temporally variable turbulence, water velocity, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen levels. Contrasting environmental conditions and ecological opportunities in subtidal versus intertidal habitats may generate differing patterns of morphological diversity. In this study we used phylogenetic comparative methods, measurements of body length, and two-dimensional landmarks to characterize body shape and size diversity in combtooth blennies (Ovalentaria: Blenniidae) and test for differences in morphological diversity between intertidal, subtidal, and supralittoral zones. We found that subtidal combtooth blennies have significantly higher body shape disparity and occupy a region of morphospace three times larger than intertidal lineages. The intertidal morphospace was almost entirely contained within the subtidal morphospace, showing that intertidal combtooth blennies did not evolve unique body shapes. We found no significant differences in body size disparity between tidal zones, no correlations between body shape and tidal zone or body size and tidal zone, and no body shape convergence associated with tidal zone. Our findings suggest that a subset of combtooth blenny body shapes are suitable for life in both subtidal and intertidal habitats. Many species in regions of morphospace unique to subtidal combtooth blennies exhibit distinct microhabitat use, which suggests subtidal environments promoted morphological diversification via evolutionary microhabitat transitions. In contrast, limited intertidal body shape diversity may be due to strong selective pressures that constrained body shape evolution and environmental filtering that prevented colonization of intertidal zones by certain subtidal body shapes.
... The absence of readily discernible diagnostic features, such as differences in coloration or non-overlapping meristic counts, is common in cryptobenthic reef fishes (Brandl et al., 2018). This is particularly true for species of Scartella, where there is overlap between the diagnostic characters of the different species, and where distinction between species is only possible through combinations of characters (Rangel et al., 2004;Rangel & Mendes, 2009). ...
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Here we present the first phylogeny of the genus Scartella based on mitochondrial data. The analysis strongly corroborates the validity of all species of the genus and shows that Scartella cristata, a species with a disjunct distribution, is a lineage complex comprising five clades: two in Caribbean waters, another in the East Atlantic/Mediterranean and two in Brazil. Brazilian clades occur in sympatry from Rio de Janeiro to Rio Grande do Sul states (southern Brazil). One clade (BRA 1) is unique to Brazil, while the other (BRA 2) is closely related to the eastern Atlantic lineage. Possible explanations for this pattern include both natural and anthropic mechanisms.
... We considered both initial and terminal phases of O. trinitatis because the role (i.e., diet) of a species in a community may change along its ontogeny and hence each onthogenic phase may have distinct requirements (Jones, 2002). These blennies' ontogenetic phases are characterized by distinct coloration patterns (described in Rangel and Mendes, 2009), behavior and diet (Humann and Deloach, 2002). These fish are herbivorous that form territories and have intra-agonistic behavior and interspecific in defense against intruders (Nursall, 1977). ...
... Among the lineages found within E. braziliensis, 'North A' is dominant along * 4,000 km on the Brazilian coast, and also occurs in the Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, a group of oceanic islands that harbor several endemic marine species (Floeter et al., 2008;Rangel & Mendes, 2009;Barroso et al., 2016;Rodríguez-Rey et al., 2018). The southern distribution end of the 'North A' lineage matches the boundary of the Tropical Southwest Atlantic Province. ...
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