Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Eyeless Rays in the Gulf of Mexico: a new species?

Additionally to the eyeless characteristic, both regular (presence of eye) and eyeless (absence of eye) morphotypes have contrasting quantitative values and qualitative features for different phenotypic traits (color, teeth number, pelvic fin and spiracle form). Mature female and male eyeless morphotype had functional internal reproductive structures. Using the bar code gene, we found conclusive evidence that the eyeless morphotype belongs to the species D. americana. This is the first report on reproductively functional eyeless individuals of this species or close relatives elsewhere, which live sympatrically with regular D. americana individuals in the southern Gulf of Mexico. 

 DOI: 10.3856/vol44-issue3-fulltext-x 

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