Morphometrics and Meristics of the Three Epinepheline Species: Cephalopholis argus (Bloch and Schneider, 1801), Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskal, 1775) and Variola louti (Forsskal, 1775) from the Red Sea, Egypt
In the present investigation, the morphometrics and meristics characteristics of Cephalopholis argus, Cephalopholis miniata and Variola louti were studied. The type of allometry of the morphometric traditional as well as truss characters in terms of size and shape were determined. The morphometric indices exhibited a great variability in their behavior among the three Epinepheline species studied and in turn different mode of growth of such species. However the only indices to be size-free are PRVFL/SL, DEVOFL/SL, DEDCFL/SL, VDOL/HL, VEAOFL/HL, AEVCFL/HL and AEDCFL/HL for the three Epinepheline species considered. The clustering of the allometric growth was considered as a taxonomic tool in fishes. The inter-and intra-specific relationship between the three Epinepheline species were also evaluated on further patterns of size and shape using standard DFA and cluster analysis. Moreover, the gill raker patterns were found to be valid for discrimination with no relationship between the gill raker counts and the size of the three Epinepheline species studied. The pectoral and dorsal fin ray counts exhibited little intra-and inter-specific variations. In conclusion, the geometric morphometrics and meristics are valid in identification of Epinepheline species as fishery stock units in addition to their validity as a taxonomic tool.
Imam A.A. Mekkawy and Ashraf S. Mohammad, 2011. Morphometrics and Meristics of the Three Epinepheline Species: Cephalopholis argus (Bloch and Schneider, 1801), Cephalopholis miniata (Forsskal, 1775) and Variola louti (Forsskal, 1775) from the Red Sea, Egypt. Journal of Biological Sciences, 11: 10-21.