link to AFSC home page

link to AFSC home page link to NMFS home page link to NOAA home page

Resource Assessment & Conservation Engineering (RACE) Division

AFSC Quarterly
Research Reports
Oct-Nov-Dec 2007
ABL Reports
FMA Reports
NMML Reports
RACE Reports
REFM Reports
Quarterly Index
Quarterly Home

Groundfish Assessment Program

Groundfish Systematics: Skates, Snailfishes, Rockfishes, Sculpins, Eelpouts, and Manefishes

newly described snailfish species
Figure 2.  A newly described snailfish species, Careproctus faunusPhoto by Jay Orr.

Bothrocara brunneum and B. zestum
Figure 3.  Bothrocara brunneum (top) and B. zestum (bottom), a species newly discovered from the eastern Bering Sea.  Photo by Duane Stevenson.

Throughout 2007, James (Jay) Orr and Duane Stevenson have continued work on the taxonomy and systematics of several families of fishes, most recently skates, snailfishes, rockfishes, sculpins, eelpouts, and manefishes. Stevenson, with coauthors Orr, Jerry Hoff, and John McEachran, has produced a field guide to the cartilaginous fishes of Alaska published by Alaska Sea Grant. Their skate work has continued with the description of a new species from the western Aleutian Islands within a taxonomic revision of the subgenus Arctoraja, a group of four species ranging across the North Pacific Ocean.

In addition to discrimination by morphological data, this work will also include the important corroborative genetic results obtained by RACE geneticist and coauthor Ingrid Spies. Orr and Stevenson both participated in the annual meeting of the Charles Henry Gilbert Ichthyological Society where they presented papers on the identification of chondrichthyan fishes in Alaska and the systematic relationships of pipefish and related families based on ontogeny.

Jay Orr's research on snailfishes (Fig. 2) has expanded with the publications of descriptions of two new species of Careproctus with Katherine Maslenikov of the University of Washington (UW) Fish Collection, and the preparation of a manuscript on two new species of Paraliparis, with Zach Baldwin, an undergraduate intern from the UW. A study of the phylogenetic relationships of all genera of deep-sea anglerfishes, with senior author Ted Pietsch of the UW, was published.

Stevenson's most recent research on eelpouts has focused on completing a systematic revision of the genus Bothrocara (Fig. 3) - a large group of species ranging throughout the cold, deep waters of the Pacific Ocean in both the northern and southern hemispheres, in collaboration with M. Eric Anderson, from the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity, and Gento Shinohara, of the National Science Museum, Tokyo. He also has nearly completed an examination of morphological variation in the black eelpout, Lycodes diapterus, from across its entire range in the North Pacific, a project with Boris Sheiko of the Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg.

His earlier publication of a range extension and morphological review of the manefish, Caristius macropus, with AFSC scientist Dave Csepp, has led to his beginning a worldwide revision of the family Caristiidae with Chris Kenaley from the UW, Karsten Hartel from Harvard University, and Ralf Britz of the British Museum of Natural History.

Stevenson also participated in a midwater survey of the northern Gulf of Alaska. A result of this survey will be the publication of papers with AFSC scientist Nate Raring on the distribution and abundance of the midwater fishes encountered, including range extensions and systematic reviews of several species with Raring and Kenaley.

By Jay Orr

<<< previous

next >>>

            Home | FOIA | Privacy | | Accessibility      doc logo