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Department of Animal Sciences
The Robert H. Smith Faculty
of Agricultural, Food & Environment

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Indication of cryptic taxa within the flat needlefish, Ablennes hians based on analysis of the cytochrome oxidase I region on a wide range of samples

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We analysed the genetic structure with respect to geographic distribution of the flat needlefish, Ablennes hians, previously considered as having a circumtropical distribution. Cytochrome oxidase I (COI) barcode region sequences were constructed for a specimen from the Mediterranean, and a specimen from Japan. The sequences of the studied specimens were compared with 18 barcodes of this species from Barcode of Life Datasystems (BOLD). The results revealed that genetic distances between groups of specimens from different geographic regions can be as high as 10.9%, and in most comparisons were above the widely accepted threshold level of within-species variation. This suggests the occurrence of several cryptic taxa within the Ablennes hians complex.