Yonela Sithole

PhD Candidate
Yonela Sithole


 

A taxonomic investigation of species relationships in the goatfish genus Parupeneus (Mullidae) in the Western Indian Ocean.

A taxonomic investigation of species relationships in the goatfish genus Parupeneus (Mullidae) in the Western Indian Ocean The family Mullidae (commonly known as goatfish) is easily distinguished from other percoid families by the pair of chemosensory chin barbels and well-separated dorsal fins. Goatfish are commercially important in most coastal areas, but their basic systematics needs to be thoroughly investigated.

Parupeneus is the second largest genus of the family, comprising of 32 species. Nineteen are reported in the Western Indian Ocean. The species of this genus are easily recognized by a single row of blunt conical teeth and a lack of teeth on the vomer and palatines. Misidentifications of Parupeneus species have been revealed in previous studies and there are no genetic studies comparing species of this genu6s. This study aims to use morphology (i.e., meristics, morphometrics and colour pattern) and genetic approaches and any other information to revise species under this genus.

Registered: Rhodes University (Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science)

Supervisor: Dr Gavin Gouws (NRF-SAIAB)
Co-Supervisor: Dr Franz Uiblein (Institute of Marine Research, Norway)