Redescription of Carcharhinus dussumieri and Carcharhinus sealei

Published on 21. March 2012

A redescription of Carcharhinus dussumieri and C. sealei, with resurrection of C. coatesi and C. tjutjot as valid species (Chondrichthyes: Carcharhinidae)

William T. White


A taxonomic re-evaluation of the Carcharhinus sealei-dussumieri group using meristic and morphological data revealed that this group consists of 5 species. Two species, Carcharhinus coatesi (Whitley, 1939) from northern Australia and probably New Guinea and C. tjutjot (Bleeker, 1852) from Indonesian to Taiwan, are resurrected as valid species and together with C. dussumieri and C. sealei are redescribed. Garrick’s lectotype designation of C. dussumieri and C. tjutjot are retained. A neotype for C. sealei, collected from the same locality as the holotype which was destroyed during World War II, is designated. A fifth, possibly undescribed species (Carcharhinus sp.) is also noted from the Western Indian Ocean and its affinities briefly discussed. The four redescribed species are very similarly morphologically but can be distinguished by a combination of meristic, morphological, dental and colour characters. The most important characters for distinguishing these species are: vertebral counts, tooth counts, tooth morphology, shape of first dorsal and pectoral fins, second dorsal fin colouration, and mouth width. Two independent molecular studies have produced results which closely correlate with and support the findings of this study.

Zootaxa 3241: 1–34 (2012)



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