Research Article

Stock Differentiation of Goldband Goatfish Upeneus moluccensis from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea Using Morphometric Analysis  

Deepak G. Pazhayamadom1 , Laith A. Jawad2 , Mohamad Hassan3
1 Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Northern Territory Government, Australia
2 Flat Bush, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand
3 Department of Animal Production, Faculty of Agriculture, Tishreen University, Syria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 5   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2017.07.0005
Received: 27 Dec., 2016    Accepted: 07 Feb., 2017    Published: 25 Feb., 2017
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Pazhayamadom D.G., Jawad L.A., and Hassan M., 2017, Stock differentiation of goldband goatfish Upeneus moluccensis from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea using morphometric analysis, International Journal of Marine Science, 7(5): 37-50 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2017.07.0005)


The goldband goatfish Upeneus moluccensis is one of the several Lessepsian fish species that has migrated from Red Sea (original habitat) through Suez Canal and settled in the Mediterranean Sea (new habitat). The differences in environment may affect the phenotype of the fish species and thus the populations could evolve into distinct stocks unique to the habitats where they persist. The goatfish is now a commercially important fish species in both habitats though no studies have so far compared the morphology between these populations. Fish samples were collected from Hurghada (Egypt) and Latakia (Syria), one each from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea respectively. We measured 14 morphometric distances from each fish specimen and they were transformed using an allometric approach to remove the effect of size from shape of the individual. The entire multivariate data was then subjected to principal component analysis to determine the shape differences between these populations. Our study showed significant differences in the body shape of the fish, mostly associated to their adaptations to swim and improve visibility at the respective environments. This indicates that the goatfish populations in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea are two unique fish stocks.

Morphometry; Phenotypic plasticity; Goatfish; Caudal peduncle; Eye diameter
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International Journal of Marine Science
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