Notes on the Systematics of the Crestfish Genus Lophotus (Lampridiformes: Lophotidae), with a New Record from California
Craig, Matthew T.
Hastings, Philip A.
Pondella , Daniel J.
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On 17 November 1995, a specimen of crestfish, genus Lophotus, was <br /><br />collected from northern California. Uncertainty regarding the taxonomy of the <br /><br />genus prompted a review of its systematics. Meristic differences in number of <br /><br />dorsal-fin rays and total vertebrae, whose numerical distributions are largely con- <br /><br />gruent with geography, suggest that the previous synonymy of all nominal crest- <br /><br />fish species was unwarranted. Genetic differences between individuals from the <br /><br />north and south Pacific are consistent with meristic variation and indicate the <br /><br />presence of two largely allopatric species in the Pacific basin. While we are unable <br /><br />to completely resolve the taxonomy of Lophotus on a worldwide basis, our study <br /><br />indicates that the eastern and western north Pacific forms are conspecific and <br /><br />distinct from south Pacific Lophotus. The oldest available name for a north Pacific <br /><br />crestfish is Lophotus capellei Temminck and Schlegel, 1845, thus we consider <br /><br />this to be the valid name for the California species.