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Smithsonian Scientists Discover New Blenny Species
By Sandrah Gurash, February 8, 2011 @ 07:00 PM (EST)
Source: ScienceDaily

Through the use of genetic analysis and traditional examination, scientists from the Smithsonian Institute and the Ocean Science Foundation, have discovered seven new species of blennies.  While it was previously believed that there were only three species of blenny in the genus Starksia, there are actually 10.

The Starksia blennies measure less than 2 inches in length and are found on shallow to moderate deep coral reefs in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans. These blennies were well documented and studied for more than 100 years, leading scientists to think there was nothing new to find.  However, when trying to match larval stages of reef fish to adults using DNA, modern DNA barcoding techniques lead to the discovery of new species.  

The team also found that while the Starksia species was thought to be widely distributed throughout the Caribbean, there are actually multiple species with restricted geographic ranges.

The findings were published in the February 3, 2011 edition of ZooKeys and the article can be found on ScienceDaily.com







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