African Journal of Marine Science

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Etmopterus alphus n. sp.: a new lanternshark (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae) from the south-western Indian Ocean

DA Ebert, N Straube, RW Leslie, S Weigmann


A new species of lanternshark, Etmopterus alphus (Squaliformes: Etmopteridae), is described from the south-western Indian Ocean. The new species resembles other members of the ‘Etmopterus lucifer’ clade in having linear rows of dermal denticles and most closely resembles E. molleri from the south-western Pacific. The new species is fairly common along the upper continental slopes off central Mozambique, at depths between 472 and 558 m, and is also found on the southern Madagascar Ridge in 650–792 m depth. It can be distinguished from other members of the E. lucifer clade by a combination of characteristics, including arrangement of flank and caudal markings, dimension of flank markings and shape, size and arrangement of dermal denticles along the body. Molecular analysis further supports the distinction of E. alphus from other members of the E. lucifer clade.

Keywords: Chondrichthyes, elasmobranch, Etmopterus lucifer clade, Madagascar Ridge, molecular analysis, Mozambique, new species
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