Journal of Ichthyology

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 791–802 | Cite as

Diagnostic features and taxonomy of the Mediterranean species of the big-scale sand smelts belonging to Atherina boyeri group (Atherinidae)

  • E. D. Vasil’evaEmail author


Morphological studies of the big-scale sand smelt from the group Atherina boyeri sensu lato were carried out using the materials of the museum collections from the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Sea of Azov. It has been shown that low-raker sand smelt belonging to the species A. boyeri sensu stricto, and multi-raker sand smelt, referred to the A. mochon species, are differentiated by a complex of morphological features: the number of gill rakers, the shape of scales, the length of the ascending process of praemaxillare, and the shape of the lower margin of maxillare. The key for their identification is presented. It is assumed that A. mochon is not a native Black Sea species but belongs to the invasive species originating from the Mediterranean Sea. The isolation of two cryptic species is discussed. The neotype of A. pontica is designated.


Atherina boyeri morphology taxonomy nomenclature Ponto-Caspian region 


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoological MuseumMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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