Ophioscion Gill, 1863

Chao, Ning Labbish, Carvalho-Filho, Alfredo & Santos, Jonas De Andrade, 2021, Five new species of Western Atlantic stardrums, Stellifer (Perciformes: Sciaenidae) with a key to Atlantic Stellifer species, Zootaxa 4991 (3), pp. 434-466 : 437

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.4991.3.2

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Ophioscion Gill, 1863


Genus Ophioscion Gill, 1863 View in CoL View at ENA as a junior synonym of Stellifer Oken, 1817

Gill (1863) designated the genus Ophioscion with the eastern Pacific species, O. typicus Gill, 1863 , as the type species, which was distinguished only from Bairdiella by having an oblong head, a narrow and prominent snout with a small, inferior mouth. The gas bladder of O. typicus has two chambers, as present in all stelliferines, but lacks appendages on the hind margin of the anterior chamber ( Fig. 1A View FIGURE 1 , left). Chao (1978) distinguished the genus Ophioscion from Stellifer , by lacking a pair of variably developed appendages on the hind margin of the anterior chamber ( Fig. 1 View FIGURE 1 ). Sasaki (1989) incorrectly assigned the tooth plate on pharyngobranchial 2, enlarged and anteriorly located, as an autapomorphic character of Ophioscion ; when in fact they share this derived condition with other closely related genera (e.g. Bairdiella ), and this should be considered a homoplasy. Additionally, Sasaki added the medially concave ventral margin of the palatine as an autapomorphy of Stellifer . Therefore, the morphological features separating the current Stellifer genus from other genera within Stelliferinae are the enlarged lapillus that is about the same size of the oval shaped sagittal otoliths ( Fig. 2 View FIGURE 2 ) vs. shorter and triangular in Bairdiella , Corvula , Elattarchus and Odontoscion ( Fig. 3 View FIGURE 3 ), and the vertebral counts of 10 abdominal and 15 caudal in Stellifer (Ophioscion) , vs. either 12+13 or 11+ 14 in other stelliferine genera ( Fig. 4 View FIGURE 4 ). Recent molecular studies ( Santos et al. 2013; Barbosa et al. 2014; Lo et al. 2015; Silva et al. 2018) have confirmed that Stelliferinae is a monophyletic group, but the monophyly of Ophioscion and Stellifer are not supported. We agree with the suggestion of Silva et al. (2018) that Ophioscion is a junior synonym of Stellifer .

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