Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Barcoding snakeheads (Teleostei, Channidae) revisited: discovering greater species diversity and resolving perpetuated taxonomic confusions

Citation

Conte-Grand, Cecilia et al. (2018), Data from: Barcoding snakeheads (Teleostei, Channidae) revisited: discovering greater species diversity and resolving perpetuated taxonomic confusions, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7h0g6

Abstract

Snakehead fishes of the family Channidae are predatory freshwater teleosts from Africa and Asia comprising 38 valid species. Snakeheads are important food fishes (aquaculture, live food trade) and have been introduced widely with several species becoming highly invasive. A channid barcode library was recently assembled by Serrao and co-workers to better detect and identify potential and established invasive snakehead species outside their native range. Comparing our own recent phylogenetic results of this taxonomically confusing group with those previously reported revealed several inconsistencies that prompted us to expand and improve on previous studies. By generating 343 novel snakehead coxI sequences and combining them with an additional 434 coxI sequences from GenBank we highlight several problems with previous efforts towards the assembly of a snakehead reference barcode library. We found that 16.3% of the channid coxI sequences deposited in GenBank are based on misidentifications. With the inclusion of our own data we were, however, able to solve these cases of perpetuated taxonomic confusion. Different species delimitation approaches we employed (BIN, GMYC, and PTP) were congruent in suggesting a potentially much higher species diversity within snakeheads than currently recognized. In total, 90 BINs were recovered and within a total of 15 currently recognized species multiple BINs were identified. This higher species diversity is mostly due to either the incorporation of undescribed, narrow range, endemics from the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot or the incorporation of several widespread species characterized by deep genetic splits between geographically well-defined lineages. In the latter case, over-lumping in the past has deflated the actual species numbers. Further integrative approaches are clearly needed for providing a better taxonomic understanding of snakehead diversity, new species descriptions and taxonomic revisions of the group.

Usage Notes

Location

Asia
Africa