Range Extensions of the Whitespotted Boxfish, Ostracion meleagris Shaw, 1796, in the East and West Coasts of the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico
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The Whitespotted boxfish Ostracion meleagris Shaw, 1796 is a reef resident distributed along the Indo Pacific, but at the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico, this fish has been reported only in the southern region, with a northern limit at 24.2°N inside the Gulf of California. Here we document the presence of O. meleagris in 17 sites along the central gulf, with an extreme record at Tortuga Island (27.445°N, almost 400 km north of its accepted range), and also in two locations of the western Baja California Peninsula (Alijos Rocks and Puerto San Carlos, at 24°N). These findings represent more examples of a recently observed trend in which several species of tropical fish have expanded their distribution range towards the inner Gulf of California and in the Pacific side of the peninsula, as a possible response to the reported warming that occurs in the region.
KeywordsSea of Cortes Biogeography Distribution Temperature change Reef fish
Grants to conduct field work, and scholarship support for DMADG and MAOG (register 413585) were provided by Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP/DRPBCPN/FONDEN/001/2017, to HRB) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (project 292 Fronteras en la Ciencia FON.INST./26/2016, to HRB). We appreciated the managers of the Nautilus Undersea Hunter for their help during the visit to Alijos Rocks in 2017. We thank the comments provided by two reviewers and the journal editor, which notably improved the quality of the paper.
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Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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