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Subject: Ophidiiform Summary
From: Nick Goodwin <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 28 Aug 1997 14:18:17 +0300

text/plain (92 lines)

Hi Everyone,
The following is a brief summary of the responses I received asking about
information on the familes Carapidae, Ophidiidae, Bythitidae, Aphyonidae
and Pararbrotulidae -
1.      The addresses of any workers interested in these families
2.      Available phylogenenetic or taxonomic relationships, other than
Cohen and Nielsen (1978) in their NOAA Technical Report.
3.      Data on life history (particularly reproductive), ecology and
As part of a program on larval recruitment in coral reef
environments, we've conducted 100-day long studies of daily onshore
movement of larval fishes from the pelagic environment of Exuma Sound to
the shallow waters of the Great Bahamas Bank.  Our samples often contain
Ophidiids, generally30-50 mm in length.  For example, our 1990-1
collections contained 313 ophidiids (published in Marine Ecology Progress
Series 98:31-43), and our collections over the following winters and
summers also contain large #s.  The papers we wrote focused on other taxa,
but we can go back into the data bases to generate daily recruitment
levels for the family if you would like the data.  The specimens are all
archived, and you're welcome to them if you want to get into species-level
identifications and recruitment.
        Jon Shenker
        Department of Biological Sciences
        Florida Institute of Technoloyg
        Melbourne, FL 32901
There are seven species of cave-dwelling Bythitidae
Lucifuga subterraneus   Cuba
Lucifuga dentatus       Cuba
Lucifuga simile         Cuba
Lucifuga terresinarum   Cuba
Lucifuga spelaeotes     Bahamas
Ogilbia pearsei         Yucatan, Mexico
Ogilbia galapagosensis  Galapagos

Graham S. Proudlove / Department of Language Engineering / UMIST
Manchester / M60 1QD / UK
Tel: +44 (0)161 200 3111         e-mail: [log in to unmask]
Fax: +44 (0)161 200 3099
Regarding taxonomic relationships, particularly of Bythitidae in the
NZ region, you should contact Chris Paulin at [log in to unmask]

As far as shallow coastal waters go, here we have 5  Bythitid
species: ?Dermatopsis macrodon, Brosmodorsalis persicinus,
Bidenichthys beeblebroxi, Bidenichthys consobrinus and Fiordichthys
slartibartfasti (see Paulin 1995, J. Nat. Hist. 29: 249-258 and
Paulin & Roberts 1989, J. Nat Hist. 23: 355-361). As far as I know we
only have 5 specimens of the latter in the national collection.
There is nothing published on their biology, although I am assembling
a collection of specimens to do some reproduction work. All are
live-bearers, except perhaps for ?D. macrodon (I haven't examined
these yet). Males have intromittent organs, and I have witnessed a
stressed female B. beeblebroxi give birth during a rotenone
collection (in summer). She had (from memory) 8 larvae, all well
developed with large abdominal yolksacs.

All the shallow water species are VERY cryptic, living holes in reefs
or burrowing in sediment (?D. macrodon). Unless very lucky, rotenone
stations seem to be the only way to collect them. We don't know much
Trevor J. Willis, Leigh Marine Laboratory
University of Auckland, P.O. Box 349, Warkworth
New Zealand. Phone (64 9) 422 6111, FAX (64 9) 422 6113
email [log in to unmask]
Regarding systematics/phylogeny, are you interested in intra- or
interrelationships? If it's intra, have you checked out Gordon et al?
(Gordon, D.J., F. Markle, and J.E. Olney. 1984. Ophidiiformes:
development and relationships. In: H.G. Moser et al (Eds.), Ontogeny
and Systematics of Fishes. Spec. Publ. No.1, Amer. Soc. Ichthyol. and
Herp.: 308-319)? If your focus concerns interrelationships with other
groups, drop me a line and I could give you a few more places to look.
Fredrik Stengard
Fish Biology
Dept. of Marine Sciences,
University of South Florida,
St. Petersburg, FL
[log in to unmask]

Mr Nicholas Goodwin
School of Biological Sciences
University of East Anglia
Norwich, NR4 7TJ
England, UK

Tel: (+44) 01603 592056        Fax: (+44) 01603 592250
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
WWW Server URL:

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