Validating the occurrence of Caribbean reef sharks northern Gulf of Mexico, with a key for sharks

Published on 29 June 2011.


William B. Driggers III, Eric R. Hoffmayer, Emma L. Hickerson, Timothy L. Martin, Christopher T. Gledhill

Among the sharks inhabiting the continental shelf waters of the western North Atlantic Ocean, those within the genus Carcharhinus are the most speciose (Castro 2011). Authoritative sources agree on the presence of twelve species of carcharhinids in the northern Gulf of Mexico; however, they disagree on the presence of a thirteenth species, C. Perezi (Poey), in the region (Compagno 1984, Compagno 2002, McEachran & Fechhelm 1998, Castro 2011). While the range of C. perezi is well-documented to extend from the southeastern coast of Florida and the Bahamas to Brazil (Castro 2011), published records of C. perezi occurring in the northern Gulf of Mexico are limited to two sources. In their description of Eulamia springeri, a junior synonym of C. perezi, Bigelow & Schroeder (1944) place the species in the northern Gulf of Mexico based on “a somewhat shrivelled skin with head” from a specimen collected off the west coast of Florida that was reported by the authors to be “probably of this species.” Later, Springer (1960) reported the capture of a single specimen off the Mississippi River Delta in 1947; however, no detail of the capture was provided other than it being listed within a table summarizing shark species collected during exploratory fishing operations.

Zootaxa 2933: 65–68 (2011)

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