Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1239–1250 | Cite as

Redescription of the blacktip sea catfish Plicofollis dussumieri (Valenciennes) (Siluriformes: Ariidae), with a new record from the Red Sea and notes on the diversity and distribution of Plicofollis spp.

  • Alexandre P. Marceniuk
  • Sergey V. Bogorodsky
  • Ahmad O. Mal
  • Tilman J. Alpermann
Red Sea Biodiversity


The ariid catfish Plicofollis dussumieri (Valenciennes) is redescribed in detail based on examination of the holotype and additional material from the Indian Ocean. Part of the material examined herein was collected by bottom trawl from sandy bottoms off Jizan, Saudi Arabia, and represents the first record of the species for the Red Sea. Plicofollis dussumieri is characterised in having 14–18 anal-fin rays; two pairs of palatal tooth plates bearing granular teeth; parietosupraoccipital process rhomboidal or oblong with straight lateral sides and usually emarginate apex; lateral ethmoid globular, prominent; anal-fin height 8.2–12.4% SL; and adipose fin dark distally. Examination of specimens exhibited sexual dimorphism in the species with greater predorsal distance, longer pelvic fins and pelvic-fin base in females. Ontogenetic changes were found in several characters: length of maxillary and mental barbels, anal-fin base, and adipose-fin base are becoming shorter and eye diameter smaller with growth. In addition to the detailed study of a representative number of specimens of P. dussumieri, the present study provides an identification key to the species of the genus, and a phylogenetic analysis of available mitochondrial gene sequences (cyt b and ATPase 8/6), including species not considered in previous molecular studies.


Ariidae Sea catfishes Plicofollis Species diversity Distribution range extension Red Sea ichthyofauna 



Susanne Dorow and Jennifer Steppler are gratefully thanked for technical assistance at SMF and thanks are also due to Matthias Juhas and Stephanie Simon (SMF) for assisting in molecular genetic analyses. We further acknowledge the Grunelius-Möllgaard Laboratory at SMF for lab support. The provision of information on specimens of Plicofollis from India by T.R. Barathkumar is kindly appreciated. Thanks to Ricardo Betancur-R. (University of Puerto Rico) for the morphometric data of P. argyropleuron species complex and P. tonggol, and Matheus Rotundo (AZUSC-UNISANTA) for his support. The scientific research cooperation between King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Faculty of Marine Sciences (FMS), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the Senckenberg Research Institute (SRI), Frankfurt, Germany, in the framework of the Red Sea Biodiversity Project, during which the present material was collected, was funded by KAU GRANT NO. “I/1/432-DSR”. The authors acknowledge, with thanks, KAU and SRI for technical and financial support as well as Ali Al-Aidaroos, Abdulmohsin Al Sofiyani (both KAU), Fareed Krupp (SRI and Qatar Natural History Museum, Doha) for their help in the realisation of the present study. Also thanks to Mohamed H. Gabr (KAU) for his help during field work in 2012-2014 and Zora Gabsi and Lina-Maria Monnin Duque (both MNHN) for their assistance during a visit of museum by the second author.

Supplementary material

12526_2017_760_MOESM1_ESM.doc (73 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOC 73 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre P. Marceniuk
    • 1
  • Sergey V. Bogorodsky
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ahmad O. Mal
    • 4
  • Tilman J. Alpermann
    • 2
  1. 1.Acervo Zoológico da Universidade Santa CecíliaSantosBrazil
  2. 2.Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum FrankfurtFrankfurt a.M.Germany
  3. 3.Station of NaturalistsOmskRussia
  4. 4.Marine Biology Department, Faculty of Marine SciencesKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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