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1 March 2008 The Oarfish, Regalecus glesne (Teleostei: Regalecidae), in the Western Caribbean
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In two consecutive years, 2005 and 2006, specimens of Regalecus have been observed or collected on the reef at the southern end of Cozumel Island, Mexican Caribbean, between February and May. A single specimen has been preserved. Although a large part of the body is missing, the fish was identified as Regalecus glesne Ascanius, 1772, on the basis of the total gill-raker count on the first arch (35), the number of prolonged, cephalic dorsal-fin rays (9) and the relative length of the prolonged pelvic- fin ray (more than twice the head length). The mutilation of the specimen is probably not the result of autotomy, because the exposed vertebra is broken and the gut is sectioned; the shape of the cut suggests that a shark bit off the rear half of the body. While R. glesne has been recorded several times in Florida, Bermuda, and even the northern coast of Cuba, these are the first documented records of Regalecus in the Caribbean Sea proper. The strong seasonality of the records of R. glesne in the region (always between February and July) suggests that the fish may come closer to the coast attracted by seasonal upwelling.

Copyright 2008 College of Arts and Sciences University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez
Juan J. Schmitter-Soto "The Oarfish, Regalecus glesne (Teleostei: Regalecidae), in the Western Caribbean," Caribbean Journal of Science 44(1), (1 March 2008).
Published: 1 March 2008

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