Resurrection of New Caledonian maskray Neotrygon trigonoides (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae) from synonymy with N. kuhlii, based on cytochrome-oxidase I gene sequences and spotting patterns

Abstract : The maskray from New Caledonia, Neotrygon trigonoides Castelnau, 1873, has been recently synonymized with the blue-spotted maskray, N. kuhlii (Müller and Henle, 1841), a species with wide Indo-West Pacific distribution, but the reasons for this are unclear. Blue-spotted maskray specimens were collected from the Indian Ocean (Tanzania, Sumatra) and the Coral Triangle (Indonesia, Taiwan, and West Papua), and N. trigonoides specimens were collected from New Caledonia (Coral Sea). Their partial COI gene sequences were generated to expand the available DNA-barcode database on this species, which currently comprises homologous sequences from Ningaloo Reef, the Coral Triangle and the Great Barrier Reef (Coral Sea). Spotting patterns were also compared across regions. Haplotypes from the Coral Sea formed a haplogroup phylogenetically distinct from all other haplotypes sampled in the Indo-West Pacific. No clear-cut geographic composition relative to DNA barcodes or spotting patterns was apparent in N. kuhlii samples across the Indian Ocean and the Coral Triangle. The New Caledonian maskray had spotting patterns markedly different from all the other samples. This, added to a substantial level of net nucleotide divergence (2.6 %) with typical N. kuhlii justifies considering the New Caledonian maskray as a separate species, for which we propose to resurrect the name Neotrygon trigonoides.
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Philippe Borsa, Irma Arlyza, Wei-Jen Chen, Jean-Dominique Durand, Mark Meekan, et al.. Resurrection of New Caledonian maskray Neotrygon trigonoides (Myliobatoidei: Dasyatidae) from synonymy with N. kuhlii, based on cytochrome-oxidase I gene sequences and spotting patterns. Comptes Rendus Biologies, Elsevier Masson, 2013, 336, pp.221-232. ⟨ird-00847459⟩

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