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Systematics of European coastal anchovies (genus Engraulis Cuvier)

  • Autori: Bonhomme F.; Meyer L.; Arbiol C.; Banaru D.; Bahri-Sfar L.; Fadhlaoui-Zid K.; Strelkov P.; Arculeo M.; Soulier L.; Quignard J.-P.; Gagnaire P.-A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Reports of morphological differences between European anchovy (Engraulis cf. encrasicolus) from coastal and marine habitats have long existed in the ichthyologic literature and have given rise to a long-standing debate on their taxonomic status. More recently, molecular studies have confirmed the existence of genetic differentiation between the two anchovy ecotypes. Using ancestry-informative markers, we show that coastal anchovies throughout the Mediterranean share a common ancestry and that substantial genetic differentiation persists in different pairs of coastal/marine populations despite the presence of limited gene flow. On the basis of genetic and ecological arguments, we propose that coastal anchovies deserve a species status of their own (E. maeoticus) and argue that a unified taxonomical framework is critical for future research and management.