Volume 22 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 99-104
We employed molecular systematic analysis based on mitochondrial D-loop sequences to identify two specimens of ocean sunfish from Omani coastal waters that had previously been identified morphologically as Mola mola (Linnaeus, 1758) and M. ramsayi (Giglioli, 1883). Of the three molecular species that are recognized globally, Mola sp. A, Mola sp. B, and Mola sp. C, we confirmed that both specimens from Oman are Mola sp. A. This result suggested a broader distribution of this species than had ever been thought, but it also revealed a discrepancy between morphological and genetic characters in Mola taxonomy. We reexamined the morphology of the two specimens from Oman to clarify the extent to which the key morphological features correspond with molecular genetic identifications, and discovered errors in the original reports on both specimens.