Revised diagnosis and genetic divergence of a poorly known scorpionfish, Neosebastes multisquamus (Scorpaeniformes: Neosebastidae)
Neosebastes multisquamus, previously known only from the holotype, is redescribed on the basis of two newly collected specimens plus the holotype, all from the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. The validity of diagnostic characters for N. multisquamus proposed in the original description, such as the presence of additional spines between the lacrimal and suborbital ridges, is assessed and a revised diagnosis is given for the species. Partial sequencing of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) region of mitochondrial DNA confirmed the validity of N. multisquamus as a valid taxonomic unit, although its genetic divergence from the closely related species, N. entaxis, was relatively low [2.7 % in Kimura’s (J Mol Evol 16:111–120, 1980) two-parameter distance] compared with that between other species of Neosebastes (9.6–14.6 %).
KeywordsJapan Ogasawara Islands Mitochondrial DNA COI K2P distance Neosebastes
We sincerely thank H. Motomura (Kagoshima University Museum) for his helpful comments and H. Senou (Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History) for the opportunity to examine the holotype of N. multisquamus. We also thank G. S. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) for his critical reading of the manuscript.
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