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Jefferson T.A.,Clymene Enterprises | Weir C.R.,Ketos Ecology | Anderson R.C.,Manta Marine Pvt Ltd | Ballance L.T.,Southwest Fisheries Science Center | And 2 more authors.
Mammal Review

The global range of Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus is not well known, and there has been confusion in the literature as to whether the species has a broad, circumglobal range or only occurs along continental margins. To clarify the species' distribution and habitat preferences, we compiled and reviewed all available (published and unpublished) records of sightings and captures of this species for the past 62 years (1950-2012, n=8068 records). Stranding records were not included. The results showed that the species has a range that extends across ocean basins and spans between at least 64°N and 46°S, and is apparently absent from high-latitude polar waters. Although Risso's dolphins occur in all habitats from coastal to oceanic, they show a strong range-wide preference for mid-temperate waters of the continental shelf and slope between 30° and 45° latitude. Although a number of misconceptions about the distributional ecology of Risso's dolphin have existed, this analysis showed that it is a widespread species. It strongly favours temperate waters and prefers continental shelf and slope waters to oceanic depths. These habitat preferences appear to hold throughout much or all of the species' range. © 2013 The Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Woodland D.J.,University of New England of Australia | Anderson R.C.,Manta Marine Pvt Ltd

Siganus insomnis sp. nov. is described from the Maldives, Sri Lanka and southern India. It most closely resembles S. lineatus (Valenciennes) from the Western Pacific but differs in coloration, principally in that most if not all of the bronze bands on its mid and upper sides continue horizontally and unbroken through to the nape and opercular slit. By contrast, in S. lineatus, typically the anterior area below the spinous dorsal fin down to the mid-sides is irregularly marked with golden bronze spots, commas, or a maze of contorted lines. S. guttatus (Bloch) is the third member of this group of sibling species; its sides are covered with orange to bronze-gold spots. It is distributed throughout S.E. Asia, i.e., it occupies a geographic position between the areas inhabited by S. lineatus and S. insomnis. Thus the gene pools of S. lineatus and S. insomnis are quarantined from one another by distance and the intervening presence of S. guttatus in S.E. Asia. The geographical separation of the populations of S. lineatus and S. insomnis from one another is reinforced by the absence of suitable, coralline habitats for these species in the western half of the Bay of Bengal. Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

Kershaw F.,Columbia University | Kershaw F.,American Museum of Natural History | Leslie M.S.,American Museum of Natural History | Leslie M.S.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 14 more authors.
Journal of Heredity

Accurate identification of units for conservation is particularly challenging for marine species as obvious barriers to gene flow are generally lacking. Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera spp.) are subject to multiple human-mediated stressors, including fisheries bycatch, ship strikes, and scientific whaling by Japan. For effective management, a clear understanding of how populations of each Bryde's whale species/subspecies are genetically structured across their range is required. We conducted a population-level analysis of mtDNA control region sequences with 56 new samples from Oman, Maldives, and Bangladesh, plus published sequences from off Java and the Northwest Pacific. Nine diagnostic characters in the mitochondrial control region and a maximum parsimony phylogenetic analysis identified 2 genetically recognized subspecies of Bryde's whale: the larger, offshore form, Balaenoptera edeni brydei, and the smaller, coastal form, Balaenoptera edeni edeni. Genetic diversity and differentiation indices, combined with a reconstructed maximum parsimony haplotype network, indicate strong differences in the genetic diversity and population structure within each subspecies. Discrete population units are identified for B. e. brydei in the Maldives, Java, and the Northwest Pacific and for B. e. edeni between the Northern Indian Ocean (Oman and Bangladesh) and the coastal waters of Japan. © The American Genetic Association 2013. All rights reserved. Source

Romanov E.V.,PROSPER Project PROSpection et habitat des grands PElagiques de la ZEE de La Reunion | Potier M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Anderson R.C.,Manta Marine Pvt Ltd | Quod J.P.,Agence pour la Recherche et la Valorisation Marines ARVAM Pareto | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Recent observations of unusual mass stranding and mortality of two Indian Ocean crustacean species, the swimming crab Charybdis smithii and the mantis shrimp Natosquilla investigatoris, are documented and analysed. Strandings of C. smithii were observed for the first time in the equatorial Indian Ocean, the main area of its pelagic distribution. Strandings of mantis shrimps are reported from throughout the western Indian Ocean; occurrences of mass stranding in the Maldives Archipelago mark an extension of the known range of N. investigatoris into the central Indian Ocean. Mortality of crabs probably represents a ‘catastrophic event’. In contrast, mantis shrimp strandings, which were always associated with a sudden increase of its biomass (‘blooms’), are apparently post-reproduction mortalities indicating potential semelparity for this species. Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2015 Source

Dalebout M.L.,University of New South Wales | Scott Baker C.,University of Auckland | Scott Baker C.,Oregon State University | Steel D.,University of Auckland | And 11 more authors.
Marine Mammal Science

We present genetic and morphological evidence supporting the recognition of a previously synonymized species of Mesoplodon beaked whale in the tropical Indo-Pacific, Mesoplodon hotaula. Although the new species is closely-related to the rare ginkgo-toothed beaked whale M. ginkgodens, we show that these two lineages can be differentiated by maternally (mitochondrial DNA), biparentally (autosomal), and paternally (Y chromosome) inherited DNA sequences, as well as by morphological features. The reciprocal monophyly of the mtDNA genealogies and the largely parapatric distribution of these lineages is consistent with reproductive isolation. The new lineage is currently known from at least seven specimens: Sri Lanka (1), Gilbert Islands, Republic of Kiribati (1+), Palmyra Atoll, Northern Line Islands, U.S.A. (3), Maldives (1), and Seychelles (1). The type specimen (Sri Lanka) was described as a new species, M. hotaula, in 1963, but later synonymized with M. ginkgodens. This discovery brings the total number of Mesoplodon species to 15, making it, by far, the most speciose yet least known genus of cetaceans. © 2014 Society for Marine Mammalogy. Source

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