Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 8, pp 1733–1737 | Cite as

Genetic evidence fails to discriminate between Macroramphosus gracilis Lowe 1839 and Macroramphosusscolopax Linnaeus 1758 in Portuguese waters

  • Joana Isabel RobaloEmail author
  • C. Sousa-Santos
  • H. Cabral
  • R. Castilho
  • V. C. Almada
Short Communication


Fish belonging to the genus Macroramphosus are distributed throughout the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Some authors consider this genus monotypic, Macroramphosus scolopax being the only valid species. Other authors consider (based on several morphological and ecological characters) that another species (Macroramphosus gracilis) exists and occurs frequently in sympatry with the first one. Intermediate forms are also reported in literature. In this paper, using the mitochondrial control region and the nuclear first S7 intron markers, we failed to find genetic differences between individuals considered to belong to both species as well as the intermediate forms. Our results suggest that in the northeastern Atlantic, Macroramphosus is represented by a single species, M. scolopax, with different morphotypes interbreeding in the sampling areas.


Control Region Maximum Parsimony Mitochondrial Control Region Haplotype Group Control Region Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We appreciate the skilful technical assistance provided by S. Chenu and G.F Silva. This study was funded by the Pluriannual Program (FCT, UI&D 331/94-ISPA and CCMAR, partially FEDER funded). C. Sousa-Santos was also funded by a postdoctoral grant, SFRH/BPD/29774/2007.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Isabel Robalo
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. Sousa-Santos
    • 1
  • H. Cabral
    • 2
  • R. Castilho
    • 3
  • V. C. Almada
    • 1
  1. 1.Unidade de Investigação em Eco-Etologia, Instituto Superior de Psicologia AplicadaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Centro de Ciências do Mar do AlgarveUniversidade do AlgarveFaroPortugal

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