Miscellaneous Research

 

Miscellaneous research

Review of the genus Epigonus in the Western Indian Ocean

In recent years a number of new species of Epigonus have been described from the Indo-Pacific region.  Several of these species are known from deeper water and are not covered in the upcoming book on the coastal fishes of the Western Indian Ocean.  Furthermore, otoliths removed from recently collected specimens identified as E. robustus revealed three morphologically different otoliths.   Makoto Okamoto, a Japanese ichthyologist specialising in the taxonomy of the family Epigonidae is collaborating with me in this project.

Taxonomic status of Macruronus capensis

The genus Macruronus currently has two valid species, namely M. novaezelandiae and M. capensis.  The latter was described by Davis (1950) and is known from a small number of adult specimens collected infrequently in South African water.  A collaborative study with Rob Leslie of DAFF and Gavin Gouws of SAIAB is underway to determine the validity of this species using morphological and molecular genetic methods.

Distribution of Macrourus in the south Indian Ocean

Macrourus is a genus of grenadiers with 5 species of which 4 occur in the southern hemisphere. They are morphologically very similar and therefore difficult to identify.  They are also regularly caught in the toothfish longline fishery in the Southern Ocean.  A 2012 paper using morphology and genetics separated the Southern Ocean species clearly.  In a follow-up study Tshoanelo Miya and I are collaborating with Rob Lesley of DAFF and Peter McMillan of NIWA, New Zealand, in eludicating distributional patterns of these species in the southern Indian Ocean.

Fishes of the Nansen 2015 cruise to Myanmar

At the end of 2015 SAIAB received a collection of fishes from a survey of the northeaster corner of the Indian Ocean, off Myanmar.  FAO is preparing a guide for the marine fishes of Myanmar and the collection team dispatched loans of specimens to experts on various fish families.  I agreed to identify some of this material.  Together with Artem Prokofiev of Russia a new species of deep sea herring has been described.