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CHEN Zhi, ZHANG Yan, HAN Zhiqiang, SONG Na, GAO Tianxiang. Morphological characters and DNA barcoding of Syngnathus schlegeli in the coastal waters of China[J]. HaiyangYuHuZhao, 2018, 36(2): 537-547

Morphological characters and DNA barcoding of Syngnathus schlegeli in the coastal waters of China

CHEN Zhi1, ZHANG Yan2, HAN Zhiqiang3, SONG Na1, GAO Tianxiang3
1 Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China;
2 Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China;
3 Fisheries College, Zhejiang Ocean University, Zhoushan 316022, China
A Syngnathus species widely distributed in Chinese seas was permanently identified as Syngnathus acus by native ichthyologists, but the taxonomic description about this species was inadequate and lacking conclusively molecular evidence. To identify this species, 357 individuals of this species from the coastal waters of Dandong, Yantai, Qingdao and Zhoushan were collected and measured. Morphological results showed that these slender specimens were mainly brownish, usually mottled with pale. Standard length ranged from 117 mm to 213 mm with an average length of 180.3 mm. The above characters were consistent with S. schlegeli distributed in Japan but colored differently from and much smaller than typical S. acus reported in Europe. Thus, morphological studies revealed that this species was previously misidentified as S. acus and might be S. schlegeli in reality. In addition, a fragment of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene of mitochondrial DNA was also sequenced for species identification, and 15 COI sequences belonging to different Syngnathus species were also used for the molecular identification. COI sequences of our specimens had the minimum genetic distance from recognized S. schlegeli from Japan and clustered with it firstly. The phylogenetic analysis similarly suggested that the species previously identified as S. acus in the coastal waters of China was S. schlegeli actually.
Key words:    re-identification|cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI)|phylogenetics|pipefish|Chinese taxonomy of fishes   
Received: 2016-08-03   Revised:
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