Henderson, Aaron C., Reeve, Alan J., Jabado, Rima W. & Naylor, Gavin J. P., 2016, Taxonomic assessment of sharks, rays and guitarfishes (Chondrichthyes: Elasmobranchii) from south-eastern Arabia, using the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (NADH 2) gene, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 176 (2), pp. 399-442 : 423-428

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https://doi.org/ 10.1111/zoj.12309

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Eight putative species were assessed. They exhibited a between-group mean distance of 14.93 ± 0.87%. Specimens originally identified as Himantura gerrardi during the present study formed two geographically distinct clusters with strong branch support, one containing ten specimens from Oman, and the other containing four specimens from the UAE. The latter was further divided into two groups, also with strong branch support, with three specimens on one branch and one specimen on the other ( Fig. 2 View Figure 2 ). When assessed alongside related taxa from Naylor et al. (2012), the Oman and UAE clusters were separated further ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ). The group containing the ten specimens from Oman clustered with a single specimen from Iran, which Naylor et al. (2012) designated H. cf. gerrardi 3, remaining distinct from four other H. cf. gerrardi clusters ( Naylor et al., 2012). Furthermore, the single specimen from the UAE clustered with Himantura randalli , while the other three UAE specimens formed a distinct cluster. The current specimens have therefore been labelled H. cf. gerrardi 3, Himantura randalli and Himantura sp. ( Fig. 5 View Figure 5 ). Mean distance was high between H. cf. gerrardi 3 and each of the other two taxa, while the latter were more modestly separated ( Table 2).

A similarly complex situation was observed within specimens that were originally identified as H. uarnak during the present study. These seven specimens formed two distinct clusters, one consisting of two specimens and the other containing the remaining five specimens, and they exhibited a between-group mean distance of 9.97 ± 1.09%. Naylor et al. (2012) reported six distinct clusters within this species complex: four H. cf. uarnak clusters, H. undulata and H. leoparda . The first cluster from the present study grouped with H. cf. uarnak 3 (a cluster consisting of specimens from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia), while the second cluster grouped with, but beside, H. leoparda ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ).

Four Pastinachus View in CoL specimens that were tentatively identified as P. sephen View in CoL during the present study clustered with 14 specimens of P. atrus View in CoL from Naylor et al. (2012). Unfortunately, no confirmed specimens of P. sephen View in CoL were available to Naylor et al. (2012), although three assumed specimens from Iran (designat- ed P. cf. sephen View in CoL ) clustered away from the P. atrus View in CoL specimens. The current specimens are therefore assumed to be P. atrus View in CoL , and they formed two sub-clusters with strong branch support. However, their betweengroup mean distance was only 1.03 ± 0.35%.

Naylor et al. (2012) reported four Neotrygon kuhlii View in CoL clusters, which they designated N. cf. kuhlii View in CoL 1–4. Specimens from the present study clustered with N. cf. kuhlii View in CoL 3, which had been represented by a single specimen from Madagascar. With the exception of one specimen, which was identified as Dasyatis sp. in the field and which clustered with a Dasyatis ushiei View in CoL specimen from Malaysia, the remaining dasyatid species clustered with the relevant taxa from Naylor et al. (2012).

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