New Record of Scolecenchelys fuscogularis (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) Leptocephali from Korea, as Revealed by Morphological and Molecular Analyses

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  • ABSTRACT

    Three leptocephali (22.2, 22.7, 56.0 mm in total length) collected from the East/Japan Sea were identified by morphological and genetic analyses as belonging to the genus Scolecenchelys (Anguilliformes, Ophichthidae). Morphologically, the specimens were characterized by 148-158 myomeres, 10 gut swellings, dorsal fin origin above middle of the body, and 6 postanal melanophores between the anus and the caudal margin. An analysis of an 849-base pair 12S rRNA sequence of mitochondrial DNA showed that sequences are concordant with those of adult Scolecenchelys fuscogularis (genetic distance = 0.001). Furthermore total number of myomeres is consistent with the total number of vertebrae in adult S. fuscogularis. This study provides the first description of the morphological characteristics of S. fuscogularis leptocephali and their variations with size. The Korean name of S. fuscogularis is “Ga-neun-mul-baem”, established by Ji et al. (2012).


  • KEYWORD

    Scolecenchelys fuscogularis , New record , Ophichthidae , Leptocephalus , mtDNA 12S rRNA

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  • [Fig. 1.] Leptocephalus of Scolecenchelys fuscogularis, PKU 5999, 22.2 mm TL (A); PKUI 205, 56.0 mm TL (B). Scale bars= 1.5 mm. DO: dorsal fin origin.
    Leptocephalus of Scolecenchelys fuscogularis, PKU 5999, 22.2 mm TL (A); PKUI 205, 56.0 mm TL (B). Scale bars= 1.5 mm. DO: dorsal fin origin.
  • [Table 1.] Comparisons of measurements and counts for Scolecenchelys fuscogularis and Scolecenchelys aoki
    Comparisons of measurements and counts for Scolecenchelys fuscogularis and Scolecenchelys aoki
  • [Table 2.] Genetic distance among Scolecencehelys fuscogularis leptocephali, 6 adult ophichthid species and 1 outgroup
    Genetic distance among Scolecencehelys fuscogularis leptocephali, 6 adult ophichthid species and 1 outgroup
  • [Fig. 2.] Neighbor-joining (NJ) tree based on partial mtDNA 12S rRNA sequences showing the relationships among the three Scolecenchelys fuscogularis leptocephali and 6 adult ophichthids with one outgroup Conger myriaster. The NJ tree was constructed using the Kimura-2-parameter distance model. 10,000 replications of bootstrap were conducted. Bar indicates genetic distance of 0.02.
    Neighbor-joining (NJ) tree based on partial mtDNA 12S rRNA sequences showing the relationships among the three Scolecenchelys fuscogularis leptocephali and 6 adult ophichthids with one outgroup Conger myriaster. The NJ tree was constructed using the Kimura-2-parameter distance model. 10,000 replications of bootstrap were conducted. Bar indicates genetic distance of 0.02.