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Kinorhynchs are microscopic invertebrates that are part of the meiofaunal community. Their diversity and distribution has been relatively unstudied in the Gulf of Mexico until the past few years. Past studies from Troy University have reported 32 species of kinorhynchs in the Gulf, from Texas to Florida. This study reports a re-sampling effort which focused on the Louisiana shelf, in an attempt to further understand the relationships between the shelf sediment and the kinorhynch diversity. For this work, sediment was sampled at 16 locations in 2015 using a multicorer. Kinorhynchs were isolated using centrifugation. Animal densities ranged from <1–33/10 cm2, with an average of 12 animals/10 cm2. A total of 345 animals were identified to the species level. Echinoderes bookhouti was the most abundant animal, which along with E. augustae, E. spinifurca, E. skipperae, and Leiocanthus cf. L. langi accounted for almost all the identifications. Additionally, we report four new species records for the Gulf of Mexico: Pycnophyes alexandroi, P. norenburgi,Antygomonas paulae, and Leiocanthus cf. L. corrugatus. These data reveal a multi-year trend with regard to dominant kinorhynch species within the Gulf of Mexico, and support an earlier study of Gulf kinorhynchs from 2013–2014. Multivariate analysis revealed that sediment locations with higher densities of kinorhynchs associated with higher levels of organic matter, and sediment locations with low densities associated with sandy sediment.
Fringe-lip tongue soles with three ocular-side lateral lines and different ocular-side color patterns were collected mainly at fish landing ports from east to south coastal regions of China. Specimens were divided into three groups: those with color patterns previously reported for Paraplagusia japonica (Temminck & Schlegel, 1846) called Color Pattern I (CPI) and Color Pattern II (CPII); and those, preliminarily identified as Paraplagusia sp., that featured a different color pattern (CPIII). CPI featured only pale ocelli superimposed on a greenish-brown or yellowish-brown background color; CPII featured only black spots superimposed on a brownish-black or grayish-brown background color; and CPIII featured both pale ocelli and black spots mixed over a yellowish-brown or brownish-black background color. Specimens with CPI pattern are smaller in body size (78.3–279.0 mm SL) compared to the lengths of specimens with the CPII (191.7–337.1 mm SL) and CPIII patterns (155.9–352.9 mm SL). To determine whether specimens with CPIII represent a species different from P. japonica, a series of morphological characters and two partial gene sequences (COI and RAG1) were analyzed. Analyses revealed that specimens with these three different color patterns overlapped in 27 morphological characters including nine meristic and 18 morphometric features. And, the K2P genetic distances of COI and RAG1 fragments were 0.000–0.007 and 0.000–0.006, respectively. This study confirms that fringe-lip tongue soles inhabiting coastal waters of China that possess three lateral lines, but have different ocular-side pigmentation patterns, belong to one species, P. japonica. These results also caution the use of pigment features as diagnostic characters to distinguish species of Paraplagusia. An updated redescription and synonymy for P. japonica, including summaries of variation in morphological characters and pigmentation, size at maturity, and geographical distribution are provided. Results of the present study will be helpful in better understanding the taxonomic significance of color patterns of cynoglossid flatfishes.