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Revision of the Scolecenchelys gymnota species group with descriptions of two new species (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae: Myrophinae)


A portion of the genus Scolecenchelys Ogilby 1897, the Scolecenchelys gymnota species group, is taxonomically revised. The S. gymnota species group is defined as having the dorsal-fin origin located posterior to the level of the anus and consists of the following 10 species: Scolecenchelys aoki (Jordan and Snyder 1901) (Japan and Korea), Scolecenchelys australis (Macleay 1881) (southern Australia and New Zealand), Scolecenchelys brevicaudata sp. nov. (Philippines), Scolecenchelys chilensis (McCosker 1970) (Desventuradas Islands and Juan Fernández Islands, off Chile), Scolecenchelys fuscogularis Hibino, Kai and Kimura 2013 (Japan and Korea), Scolecenchelys gymnota (Bleeker 1857) (tropical area of the Pacific and Indian oceans, excluding Australia and the Red Sea), Scolecenchelys iredalei (Whitley 1927) (tropical area of the Pacific and Indian oceans), Scolecenchelys laticaudata (Ogilby 1897) (tropical area of the Pacific and Indian oceans), Scolecenchelys profundorum (McCosker and Parin 1995) (the Nazca Ridge), and Scolecenchelys robusta sp. nov. (southwestern Indian Ocean). Scolecenchelys iredalei is newly regarded as a valid species, but Muraenichthys erythraeensis Bauchot and Maugé 1980, Muraenichthys japonicus Machida and Ohta 1993, and Muraenichthys tasmaniensis McCulloch 1911 known as valid species formerly are junior synonyms of S. iredalei, S. aoki, and S. australis, respectively. A detailed examination of the generic status of “Scolecenchelysacutirostris (Weber and de Beaufort 1916) is required.

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Initially, we express our deep appreciation to J. E. McCosker (CAS) for his critical reading of the manuscript and valuable comments. We are deeply indebted to M. McGrother and S. Reader (AMS), J. E. McCosker (CAS), G. Ogihara (KAUM), K. Hatooka (OMNH), J. Pogonoski and A. Graham (CSIRO), J. Rainbird and D. Maynard (QVM), R. Bills and B. Konqobe (SAIAB), and K. Hoshino (Umitamago, Oita Marine Palace Aquarium) for their measurements and photographs of some of the type specimens, to M. J. P. Oijen (RMNH) for his valuable comments on the holotype of Muraenichthys gymnotus, J. Maclaine (BMNH) on the syntypes of Muraenichthys moorii, H. Endo, N. Nakayama, R. Asaoka, and R. Misawa (BSKU), J. E. McCosker and D. Catania (CAS), and R. de Ruiter (RMNH) and R. Fricke (SMNS) for their help during our visit and specimen examinations, M. Hayashi (YCM) for information about Aoyagi’s collection, to all FRLM students for collecting the important specimens, and to H. Endo and Y. Kimura (Hiroshima University) for information of the locality of S. iredalei deposited at BSKU. We express our sincere gratitude to the following persons and institutions for their help and specimen loans: M. McGrouther (AMS); M. Sabaj (ANSP); K.-T. Shao and P.-Y. Lin (ASIZP); J. Maclaine (BMNH); J. E. Randall, A. Suzumoto and L. R. O’Hara (BPBM); H. Endo (BSKU); J. E. McCosker and D. Catania (CAS); A. Graham (CSIRO); T. Nakabo and Y. Kai (FAKU); M. Yabe, H. Imamura and T. Kawai (HUMZ); H. Motomura (KAUM); H. Senou (KPM); G. Duhamel, P. Pruvost, and R. Causse (MNHN); Y. Iwatsuki (MUFS); K. Matsuura, G. Shinohara, and M. Nakae (NSMT); K. Hatooka (OMNH); R. Bills and B. Konqobe (SAIAB); K. Hoshino (SNFR); J. T. Williams (USNM); and M. Hayashi and K. Hagiwara (YCM). Finally, we wish to express our gratitude to the two anonymous reviewers for their critical comments to elevate our manuscript. This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for JSPS Fellows to YH (DC2: 15J02820).

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Correspondence to Yusuke Hibino.

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This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as 14827294-3677-4F42-A076-C0D7AA131744.

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Hibino, Y., Kimura, S. Revision of the Scolecenchelys gymnota species group with descriptions of two new species (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae: Myrophinae). Ichthyol Res 63, 1–22 (2016).

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