Ichthyological Research

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 170–174 | Cite as

Early larvae of Zesticelus profundorum (family Cottidae) identified using DNA barcoding

  • Ann C. Matarese
  • Ingrid B. Spies
  • Morgan S. Busby
  • James W. Orr
Short Report


Early larvae of Flabby Sculpin, Zesticelus profundorum, are described using DNA barcoding methods to identify specimens collected in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. Based on the low myomere count, distribution of larvae, and vertebral counts in adults, we selected Zesticelus profundorum and Sebastolobus macrochir as good potential candidates for genetic comparison. We used DNA samples from voucher specimens of each candidate taxon to identify species-specific sequences. An exact match in sequence data allowed us to positively identify these larvae as Zesticelus profundorum, a rare deepwater species of the family Cottidae.


Zesticelus profundorum Cottidae DNA barcoding 



The illustration was supplied by Beverly Vinter (AFSC, retired). Mike Canino’s efforts to build a bridge between genetic and morphological studies of fish taxonomy and systematics at AFSC were instrumental in the initiation and success of this ongoing study. We also thank the following individuals for providing at-sea assistance sorting plankton samples: Deborah Blood, Janet Duffy-Anderson and Annette Dougherty (AFSC). Lisa De Forest (AFSC) measured the fish larvae and provided technical support. Dawn Roje and Katherine Maslenikov (UW) assisted us in mapping the distribution of adults and larvae and obtaining adult tissue samples, respectively. Lastly, the mystery black larvae would not have been identified without lively discussions with our fellow Tuesday Fish Lunch companions, Duane Stevenson and Deborah Blood, who also reviewed an earlier version of this report.


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann C. Matarese
    • 1
  • Ingrid B. Spies
    • 1
  • Morgan S. Busby
    • 1
  • James W. Orr
    • 1
  1. 1.Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering DivisionNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science CenterSeattleUSA

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