THE CHAENOPSINE BLENNIES OF THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN (PISCES: CLINIDAE: CHAENOPSINAE) I. SYSTEMATIC ANALYSIS AND ZOOGEOGRAPHY
The chaenopsine blennies are an homogeneous group which may be considered a subfamily of the Clinidae, since the existing evidence is not enough to give them familial status. The subfamily includes eight genera: Mccoskerichthys, Coralliozetus, Acanthemblemaria, Ekemblemaria, Emblemaria, Hemiemblemaria, Lucayablennius, and Chaenopsis. The nominal genera Protemblemaria and Emblemariopsis are herewith considered synonyms of Coralliozetus, since they share two derived characters: small size and sexual dimorphism in the color of the head, and are rather similar in several other characteristics. The división of the West Indian Zoogeographical Province made by Briggs (1974) is unnatural, since the fish fauna of Belize, Florida and the Bahamas is very similar. I proposed two subprovinces, the Northern Caribbean-Antillean from Isla de San Andrés (12.5°N) in the western Caribbean to Cabo Catoche (21.5°N, México), southern Florida, Bahamas, Bermuda, and the Antilles; and the Southern Caribbean from Costa Rica to the island of Trinidad. Eight of the thirteen chaenopsines endemic to the Southern Caribbean Subprovince belong to genera, subgenera, or species-groups of Chaenopsinae more widely distributed in the eastern Pacific than in the Caribbean, being therefore pacificophile species. There are 23 species of chaenopsine blennies in the southern Caribbean, which is 61% of the total West Indian fauna of the group, while in the Northern Caribbean-Antillean Subprovince the number of known species is 20.
- There are currently no refbacks.