Genetic data are increasingly being applied to re-evaluate past taxonomic hypotheses and better understand the evolutionary patterns and connectivity among regional populations of cosmopolitan species. This is of particular importance for heavily exploited, commercially important species. The phylogenetic structure of the Yellowtail Jack, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes, 1833, was investigated using genetic data from 42 individuals collected from California, the Pacific coast of Baja California (Mexico), the Gulf of California (Mexico), New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, and Chile. An analysis using S. dumerili as an outgroup and combining the sequences of two mitochondrial genes (CR and COI) and four nuclear genes (RAG2, EHHADH, UBE3A, MLL) was used to determine the level of genetic divergence among samples from different geographic regions. Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses utilizing combined mitochondrial gene (mtDNA) or nuclear gene (nucDNA) data supported the existence of multiple regionally restricted clades with mtDNA analysis identifying four major clades and nucDNA supporting three. Both mtDNA and nucDNA trees were very similar in topology, which was reflected in the combined total evidence phylogram. These clades were highly supported with Bayesian posterior and bootstrap probabilities ranging from 90 to 100 percent for the three major clades that were recovered in both mtDNA and nucDNA trees. These clades represent regionally specific specimens collected from the 1) Northeast Pacific, 2) Northwest Pacific, and 3) Southern Hemisphere. Morphometric analysis (MDS and ANOSIM) of available meristic data on the number of soft dorsal-fin rays, anal-fin rays, and total number of gill rakers separated specimens among the three regions identified by genetic analysis (P = 0.05). Based on the phylogenetic structure within this taxonomic unit as evidenced by genetic data and significant meristic differences among these regional lineages, we conclude that three cryptic species currently bear the name Seriola lalandi Valenciennes, 1833. We propose the resurrection of two currently available names based on nomenclatural priority. The Northwest Pacific species name should revert to Seriola aureovittata Temminck and Schlegel (1845) (type locality Japan), and the Northeast Pacific species to Seriola dorsalis Gill (1863) (type locality Cabo San Lucas, Mexico). Seriola lalandi Valenciennes, 1833 (type locality Brazil) should apply only to the species in the Southern Hemisphere.
A Tale of Three Tails: Cryptic Speciation in a Globally Distributed Marine Fish of the Genus Seriola
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Natalie Martinez-Takeshita, Catherine M. Purcell, Chris L. Chabot, Matthew T. Craig, Corinne N. Paterson, John R. Hyde, Larry G. Allen; A Tale of Three Tails: Cryptic Speciation in a Globally Distributed Marine Fish of the Genus Seriola. Copeia 1 July 2015; 103 (2): 357–368. doi: https://doi.org/10.1643/CI-124-224
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