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Taxonomic review of the family Gymnuridae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatoidei)

Grant number: 11/23759-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2012
Effective date (End): November 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Marcelo Rodrigues de Carvalho
Grantee:Leandro Yokota
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):14/05247-7 - Taxonomic review of the family Gymnuridae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatoidei), BE.EP.PD   13/06999-0 - Taxonomic review of the family Gymnuridae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatoidea), BE.EP.PD   12/09620-9 - Taxonomic review of the family Gymnuridae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatoidei), BE.EP.PD


The family Gymnuridae is represented by marine, demersal and coastal rays. The butterfly-rays occur in three main geographic regions: Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region, Eastern Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean (including Mediterranean). Although these rays are easily distinguished from other batoids, their representatives are very similar morphologically and, at the same time, exhibit considerable intraspecific variation. These factors have led to taxonomic confusion at the generic and specific levels within the family. Currently the family is represented by two genera and 10 to 13 valid species (out of some 25 available nominal species), however the validity of the genus Aetoplatea has been questioned. In general, the species have available only superficial and brief descriptions, and taxonomic uncertainties involving the identification and distinction of these rays are common. There are questionable species, populations that have been treated as the same species but that in reality may represent different taxonomic units, as well as populations considered as distinct taxonomic units that may, in fact, be the same species. This study aims to review taxonomically the family Gymnuridae through multivariate analysis and morphological investigative techniques (morphometry, meristic analysis, and comparative morphology of the skeleton, laterosensory system and muscles), considering specimens from different geographic regions within the supposed distribution of the species. Uncertainty about the taxonomic status of species limits the development of basic research that subsidizes the management and conservation of populations. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)

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