Morphological variations in marine pufferfish and porcupinefish (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes) from Tamil Nadu, southeastern coast of India

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K. Kaleshkumar
R. Rajaram
P. Purushothaman
G. Arun


In the present study, morphological variations in 14 species of two families, Tetraodontidae and Diodontidae, were examined for individuals collected from five different centres in Tamil Nadu in the southeastern coast of India.  Twenty-seven morphological measurements and four meristic characters were taken and used for multivariate analyses such as discriminant function analysis (DFA) & MANOVA.  DFA revealed that the first two functions accounted for more than 75% variation between the species.  Negative allometric values were observed on head length (HL), orbital length (OL), pupil diameter (PD), interorbital length (IOL), pectoral-fin length (PEL), caudal peduncle depth (CPD), dorsal to pectoral fin distance (DPFD), caudal peduncle length (CPL) and post-pectoral-fin length (POPFL) measurements.  Also, MANOVA supported the DFA results.  Additions, allometric relationships, and meristic variations were observed for most of these species.   Moreover, this is the first attempt to describe a greater number of morphological features of the species belonging to the order Tetraodontiformes.

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Author Biographies

K. Kaleshkumar, DNA Barcoding & Marine Genomics Laboratory, Department of Marine Science, School of Marine Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620024, India

Mr. K. Kaleshkumar is a PhD research scholar in the Department of Marine Science, whose interest include diversity, distribution, traditional and molecular taxonomy and nutritional evaluation of marine pufferfishes. Currently working on distribution, molecular taxonomy and biomedical applications of marine pufferfishes from Tamil Nadu, south-eastern coast of India. He has seven years of experience in marine pufferfishes. 

R. Rajaram, DNA Barcoding & Marine Genomics Laboratory, Department of Marine Science, School of Marine Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620024, India

Dr. R. Rajaram is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Science of Bharathidasan University and his research interest include the ichthyotaxonomy, marine natural products and pollution of marine organisms especially fishes. 

P. Purushothaman, Crustacean Fisheries Division, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Ernakulam North P.O., P.B. No. 1603, Cochin, Kerala 682018, India

Mr. P. Purushothaman is a PhD research scholar in crustacean fisheries division, whose interest includes marine diversity and evolutionary relationships using novel molecular tools. 

G. Arun, DNA Barcoding & Marine Genomics Laboratory, Department of Marine Science, School of Marine Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620024, India

Mr. G. Arun is currently a PhD research scholar, whose interest include taxonomy and ecology of marine hydrozoans. He is experienced in Island ecosystem health assessment, coral transplantation, SCUBA diving, and coastal survey.


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