Istituto di Scienze Marine     
La Mesa M., Cattaneo-Vietti R., Vacchi M. Species composition and distribution of the Antarctic plunderfishes (Pisces, Artedidraconidae) from the Ross Sea off Victoria Land. In: Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography, vol. 53 (8-10) pp. 1061 - 1070. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2006.
Among the notothenioid fish, the Antarctic plunderfishes (family Artedidraconidae) are a poorly known component of the bottom fauna of the continental shelf despite their relative importance. The family is composed of 25 small- to medium-sized endemic species and four genera, Artedidraco, Dolloidraco, Histiodraco and Pogonophryne, which are the most benthic and sedentary of the notothenioid fish. In the framework of "Victoria Land Transect Project", several samples of plunderfishes were collected by means of an Agassiz trawl. Sampling activities were carried out between 100 and 500m depth in five sites over nearly 4 degrees latitude off Victoria Land. Overall, trawling yielded 80 specimens of plunderfish, including all species of Artedidraco reported from the Ross Sea, i.e. Artedidraco glareobarbatus, A. loennbergi, A. orianae, A. shackletoni and A. skottsbergi, and the monotypic genus Histiodraco. The use of multivariate statistical analyses on catch data indicated sampling site as the main factor affecting species composition. Histiodraco velifer and A. skottsbergi were caught almost exclusively in the southernmost sites, characterizing the artedidraconid fauna of Cape Russell. A. orianae was sampled only in the northernmost sites, such as Cape Adare and Hallett Peninsula. A. loennbergi appeared to be a ubiquitous species, whereas A. glareobarbatus was caught only at the Hallett Peninsula. Plunderfishes showed a particular distribution pattern in relation to depth as well. A. glareobarbatus was the shallowest species, being sampled within 100 m. A. orianae and A. shackletoni showed a similar distribution, being caught mostly at 100-200 m, whereas A. skottsbergi was mainly sampled at 200-300m. H. velifer was caught in a wide depth range, but mostly in deeper waters (400m). A, loennbergi was eurybathic, showing a wider depth distribution than other species. Univariate measures of diversity indicated Cape Adare as the poorer site in terms of species richness and diversity. Number of species, diversity and equitability were quite similar off Hallett Peninsula and Cape Russell, indicating the absence of a latitudinal trend. Generally, all univariate indices decreased from shallow (100m) to deep waters (500m). (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2006.05.002
Subject plunderfishes
Victoria Land

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