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Taxonomy and morphology of Western central Atlantic Scyliorhinus Blainville, 1816 (Chondrichthyes; Carcharhiniformes; Scyliorhinidae)

Grant number: 15/21314-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 28, 2016
Effective date (End): June 27, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Marcelo Rodrigues de Carvalho
Grantee:Karla Diamantina de Araújo Soares
Supervisor abroad: Lynne R. Parenti
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:14/20316-5 - Taxonomy and morphology of genus Scyliorhinus Blainville, 1816 (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhiniformes: Scyliorhinidae), BP.DR


The family Scyliorhinidae is the most diverse family of sharks, comprising roughly 17 genera and 160 species. Belonging to this family, the genus Scyliorhinus presents 16 valid species and is considered a poorly defined group of catsharks, with a varied color pattern that is extensively used in species identification. A long history of taxonomic rearrangements has occurred, contributing to the lack of diagnostic characters for this genus, and there are too many doubts about the limits of variation between it and related genera. The same uncertainties are encountered in species identification, once sexual dimorphism, and ontogenetic, individual and geographic variations may influence color pattern; many other characters, such as the shape of the fins, are less reliable and present much overlapping. The Western Central Atlantic is the most diverse area for Scyliorhinus, presenting six species that are not clearly defined in identification keys and revisionary works; the last specific revision of the genus was published by S. Springer in 1979. The aim of this BEPE project is to undertake a taxonomic review of Western Central Atlantic Scyliorhinus species, analyzing external morphology, dermal denticles, teeth, musculature, neurocranium, visceral arches, pectoral girdle, claspers, and morphological and meristic data, endeavoring to recognize valid species and describe their morphological variation. This project represents a part of my ongoing global revision of genus Scyliorhinus. (AU)

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