Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.04.19)

Littoral Water in Hong Kong as a Potential Transient Habitat for Juveniles of a Temperate Deepwater Gnomefish, Scombrops boops (Acropomatiformes: Scombropidae)

Jiehong Wei1, Jiarui Gu2, Min Liu3, Bai-an Lin3, Gabriel Y. Lee1, Tak-Cheung Wai1,2, Paul K.S. Lam1,2,4, Meng Yan1,2,5,*, and Priscilla T.Y. Leung1,2,5,*


1State KeyLam) State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. *Correspondence: E-mail: priscilla_ty_leung@yahoo.com.hk (Leung); mengyan@cityu.edu.hk (Yan). Tel: 852-34429438. Fax: 852-34420524.
E-mail: w443687230@gmail.com (Wei); jrgu_chary@163.com (Gu); auytfff1357924680@gmail.com (Lee); waitakcheung@hotmail.com (Wai); pks.lam@cityu.edu.hk (Lam)
2Research Centre for the Oceans and Human Health, City University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, China
3State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China. E-mail: minliuxm@xmu.edu.cn (Liu); linbaian1992@126.com (Lin)
4Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
5Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China

Received 29 December 2020 / Accepted 6 April 2021
Communicated by Felipe Ottoni

A total of 40 juveniles belonging to a temperate deepwater gnomefish species, Scombrops boops, were sampled from littoral habitats (2–5 m depth) of eastern Hong Kong waters in April and May 2017 and March 2019. The presence of gnomefish juveniles in subtropical southern China is reported for the first time, at a record low latitude of 2211'–2221'N. The specimens were identified based on the COI gene sequence. The genetic composition between Japan and Hong Kong gnomefish populations were compared by sequencing the mitochondrial Cytb gene, which showed no genetic differentiation. The juveniles ranged from 3.5–10.1 cm (n = 40) in total length, with 35 individuals caught from Sargassum beds and five from rocky reefs. Our findings highlighted that the littoral habitats in Hong Kong waters, in particular the seasonal Sargassum beds, are important for small juveniles of S. boops.

Key words: Genetic homogeneity, Northwest Pacific, Nursery habitat, Sargassum beds, Subtropical.

Citation: Wei J, Gu J, Liu M, Lin B, Lee GY, Wai TC, Lam PKS, Yan M, Leung PTY. 2021. Littoral water in Hong Kong as a potential transient habitat for juveniles of a temperate deepwater gnomefish, Scombrops boops (Acropomatiformes: Scombropidae). Zool Stud 60:33. doi:10.6620/ZS.2021.60-33.

Supplementary Materials: Dataset S1 | Dataset S2