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Ribeiro P.A., Gonçalves J.M., Chavan G., Fricke R., García-Mederos A.M., Tuset V.M., Barreiros J.P. 2017. First record of the cubera snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Lutjanidae), from the Azores (NE Atlantic) and possible range extension for the east Atlantic. Acta Ichthyol. Piscat.  47 (3): 259–263.

Background. A lutjanid recently captured in Flores Island represents the first documented record of a snapper for the Azores Islands. Since this specimen was not made available to us besides photographs and a muscle sample, a genetic study approach was necessary in order to accurately describe and discuss this somewhat unexpected occurrence. The main objective of this paper was to explain and discuss the presence of this single specimen in this part of the north-eastern Atlantic.

Materials and methods. The specimen was caught by spear fishers on 30 July 2014 off Flores Island. We analysed all available photographs and a sample of muscle tissue that was taken and preserved frozen to be used for DNA barcoding.

Results. The specimen was a reproductively mature female with a total length of 108.7 cm and weighing 14.84 kg. The body depth of the specimen from the Azores was 2.9 in SL and the analyses conducted showed no divergence from the Canary Islands specimen reported by García-Mederos and Tuset (2014) as Lutjanus dentatus (Duméril, 1861) with the body depth of 2.5 in SL, which demonstrates that this character is highly variable and not useful for species identification.

Conclusion. The snapper specimen from the Island of Flores is a Lutjanus cyanopterus (Cuvier, 1828) and confirmed as first record for this part of the north-eastern Atlantic. Comparisons with a L. dentatus from the Canary Islands point towards synonymy although the available molecular evidence is too scarce and by no means conclusive.

Keywords: new record, species distribution, DNA barcoding, Macaronesia



DOI: 10.3750/AIEP/02238

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