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Volume 42 - Number 1 - 2007

Abyssal fishes of “Triple Union”, join point of Antarctic, South America and Nazca plates (northwestern Patagonic archipelago)

Pablo R. Reyes1


1 Falkland Islands Government, Fisheries Department. P.O. Box 598 F.I.P.A.S.S. Stanley, Falkland Islands, U.K.




A group of fishes obtained at2000 meters depth at Penas Gulf (47º31´S - 75º15´W), on the so called “Triple Union”, joining point of the Antarctic, South America and Nazca plates (northwestern Patagonic archipelago), is analyzed. The fishes studied characterize this region as a high diversity environment, in which Antarctic fishes, fishes with Gondwanic distribution, northern invaders of austral origin and Atlantic invaders, come together. In the present study we give meristic and morphometric analyses of studied fishes; additional information about: Diastobranchus capensis Barnard, 1923, a species recently discovered in the southwestern Pacific; Muraenolepis microps Lönnberg, 1905(its confirmation in Chilean Patagonia after 102 years without registry, explaining the scientific uncertainty about its presence outside Antarctic Convergence limit); a bathymetry record for Pseudoxenomystax albescens (Barnard, 1923), which provides new insiigth to understandits presence in the South African and South American coasts; the extension of boreal geographic distribution of Cottunculus granulosus Karrer, 1968 in almost 1000 km within the Eastern South American cone; the extension of the austral distribution of Psychrolutes sio Nelson, 1980 towards Patagonian territory in 1600 km and the most southern record of the Psychrolutes genus; the finding of Ophthalmolycus chilensis Anderson, 1992, second specimen known for the species, extending its austral distribution in 3400 km. With the information obtained we made a biogeographical analysis of the studied sector, catalogued into the Southeastern Pacific as a zone with strong deficits in its ichthyological knowledge.

Key words: Cottoidei, Synaphobranchidae, Ophtalmolycus, Muraenolepididae, Congridae




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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