Anguilla luzonensis and A. huangi were each described in 2009 using eels obtained from northern Luzon Island. We examined the taxonomic status of these two groups of eels using morphological and molecular genetic characters. There were no significant differences in two vertebrae counts between eels of A. luzonensis and A. huangi. Mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA and cytochrome b genes sequences were obtained and compared among 28 specimens of A. luzonensis, the holotypes of A. luzonensis and A. huangi, and one specimen of the other 15 anguillid species. The specimens of A. luzonensis exhibited almost identical sequences, including the holotype, with only a few site differences, and the genetic difference between the holotypes of A. luzonensis and A. huangi was within the range of differences of specimens of A. luzonensis. The other anguillid species were genetically very different from A. luzonensis and A. huangi, although A. interioris is a closely related species. It is clear that A. luzonensis and A. huangi are the same species, and according to the principle of priority in zoological nomenclature, A. luzonensis Watanabe, Aoyama, and Tsukamoto, 2009 is the valid species name, and A. huangi Teng, Lin, and Tzeng, 2009 is a junior synonym of A. luzonensis.
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This study could not have been carried out without the kind help of the local fishermen and people who are each independently permitted by federal, regional and local authorities in the Philippines. The authors sincerely thank the following colleagues: T. Ishikawa, T. Umehara, N. Nanato and J. Abadu for their contributions to this research effort, M. Iida for assisting with molecular genetic experiments and M. J. Miller for helping to improve the paper. We also thank M. Oya for her support in many aspects of the project. S. W. was partly supported by the Ito Foundation for Promotion of Ichthyology, a Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from the Japan Science Society, and Research Fellowships for Young Scientists (No. 18780143) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. This study was supported partly by Grants-in-aid (Nos. 07306022, 08041139, 11691177 12NP0201 and 23580246) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, “Research for the Future” Program No. JSPS–RFTF 97L00901 from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Touwa Shokuhin Shinkoukai, and the Eel Research Foundation of Nobori-kai.
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Watanabe, S., Aoyama, J., Hagihara, S. et al. Anguilla huangi Teng, Lin, and Tzeng, 2009, is a junior synonym of Anguilla luzonensis Watanabe, Aoyama, and Tsukamoto, 2009. Fish Sci 79, 375–383 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-013-0620-y
- Cagayan River
- Freshwater eel
- Valid species name
- Morphological characters
- Molecular genetic characters