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Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 51(1): 171-174

Research Note


Record of a larval whalefish (family Cetomimidae) from near the Juan Fernandez seamounts, southeastern Pacific Ocean

Guillermo A. Herrera1, Mauricio F. Landaeta2 and Leonardo R. Castro3

1Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Católica de la Santísima Concepción, Alonso de Ribera 2850, Concepción, Chile
2Laboratorio de Ictioplancton (LABITI), Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Avenida Borgoño 16344, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile 
3Laboratorio de Oceanografía Pesquera y Ecología Larval (LOPEL), COPAS-Sur Austral y Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile


The southwestern Gulf of California has high-value commercial fisheries; however, there are few studies of the taxonomic diversity of fish in this area. Surveys of taxonomic diversity of the fish assemblage at 8 localities near the shore of Bahía de La Paz were undertaken from March 2002 to April 2003. Seasonal changes in diversity of rocky reef fish were analyzed, including taxonomic distance among fish species, using the alpha, alpha average, beta, and gamma diversity indices, the taxonomic distinctness index (TD D*), and the average taxonomic distinctness index (AvTD D+). Submarine visual censuses were carried out along 48 transects measuring 100 × 5 m (500 m2) at 5 m average depth from 09:00-16:00 h. Two seasons were studied: winter with an average temperature of 22.57°C, and summer with an average temperature of 27.09°C. 24,633 fishes, belonging to 92 species and 67 genera were recorded. According to the alpha average, beta, and gamma diversity indices, August had the highest diversity (19.5, 40.5, and 60 species, respectively), and December had the lowest diversity (20.6, 27.4, and 48 species, respectively). Spatial analysis of TD and AvTD were not significantly different, and analysis by season of these indices was not significant different. Greater anthropogenic impact would cause differences in TD and AvTD found at El Guano compared with other locations.
The finding of a late flexion cetomimid specimen of 24.6 mm body length (BL), plus a caudal streamer of 5.7 mm, collected in the southeastern Pacific near the Juan Fernandez seamounts (33.565°S; 77.710°W), is reported. The specimen was in good condition, almost fully pigmented, covered by small melanophores from the head to the caudal streamer, where the pigmentation is denser. It possesses an upturned mouth, developing pelvic fins with a high insertion, 14 dorsal and 15 anal fin rays, 7+7 principal caudal fin rays, ca. 54 myomeres, and a preanal distance of 75% BL. Based on the available information, the specimen can be tentatively ascribed to a species of Gyrinomimus or Cetomimus.

Key words: Cetomimidae, larva, whalefish, Juan Fernandez Seamounts


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