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Taxonomic review of the family Gymnuridae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatoidei)

Grant number: 14/05247-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): May 02, 2014
Effective date (End): June 01, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Marcelo Rodrigues de Carvalho
Grantee:Leandro Yokota
Supervisor abroad: William Toby White
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:11/23759-7 - Taxonomic review of the family Gymnuridae (Chondrichthyes: Myliobatoidei), BP.PD

Abstract

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. The post-doctorate project linked to the present study aims to review taxonomically the family Gymnuridae through multivariate analysis and morphological investigative techniques. So, it is necessary to conduct research internship in international institutions (Natural History Museums) to analyze types and comparative material of Gymnuridae nominal species. This proposal request the BEPE scholarship to conduct the Research Internship Abroad at the Australian National Fish Collection (ANFC) at the CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research facility in Hobart, Australia. Material from others regional collections will also be analysed. (AU)

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