Integrative Taxonomy of Tetraodontiform Fishes (Tetraodontiformes: Percomorpha) from Southwest Coast of India
Keywords:Taxonomy, morphology, molecular studies, Southwest coast, heat map
The taxonomy of the order Tetraodontiformes is not well studied from the Indian coast, hence an integrated approach was attempted in this paper. Forty-two species of tetraodontiform fishes classified under 8 families in 25 genera were identified using morpho-molecular approach from southern west coast of India. Tetraodontidae is the most speciose family with fourteen species, followed by Balistidae and Monacanthidae with seven species each; Ostraciidae, Diodontidae, Triacanthodidae and Tricanthidae harbour three species each and Molidae is represented by two species. Eight species collected during the present study are new records to the Kerala coast. DNA barcoding using mitochondrial CO1 gene confirmed 12 species of tetraodontiform fishes. The molecular data of the present study were compared with sequences from GenBank, and the selected published sequences by expert taxonomists were matched for their maximum identity. The heat map shows low pairwise distances between the nearest species, and the phenetic tree shows that the studied species are nested in clades with closely related species.