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Northernmost Occurrence of Zanclus cornutus (Zanclidae) in the Eastern Pacific (Northern Gulf of California, Mexico)


The Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus (Linnaeus, 1758)) is a tropical species that is distributed extensively in rocky and coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean, within the Gulf of California, its presence has been reported only in its southern region. In this work, the presence of Z. cornutus in the central and northern Gulf of California is confirmed, specifically in the Coronados islands (25.71534 ° N, −110.77567 ° W) and San Pedro Nolasco (27.9530 ° N, 111.3663 ° W). These records increase their distribution 200 km north of their known limit. This finding seems to be another example of a trend recently observed in several species of tropical fish, they have expanded their distribution towards the center and the north of the Gulf of California in possible response to the warming of the Gulf.

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Grants to conduct field work and analyses of the data were provided by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (project Fronteras en la Ciencia FON.INST./26/2016, to HRB), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Sandler Foundation and the NGOs Comunidad y Biodiversidad AC, Pronatura Noroeste and The Nature Conservancy.

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Correspondence to Francisco J. Fernández-Rivera Melo.

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Fernández-Rivera Melo, F.J., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Martínez-Castillo, V. et al. Northernmost Occurrence of Zanclus cornutus (Zanclidae) in the Eastern Pacific (Northern Gulf of California, Mexico). Thalassas 34, 301–304 (2018).

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  • Moorish idol
  • Record
  • Sea of Cortes
  • Distribution
  • Aquarium fish