Zoological Studies

Vol. 61, 2022

(update: 2022.5.5)

First Skeletal Fossil Record of the Red Seabream Pagrus major (Sparidae, Perciformes) from the Late Pleistocene of Subtropical West Pacific, Southern Taiwan

Chien-Hsiang Lin1,*, Hsin-Yueh Ou2, Chia-Yen Lin1, and Hong-Ming Chen3

1Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. *Correspondence: E-mail: chlin.otolith@gmail.com (CH Lin).
E-mail: starry1996tw@gmail.com (Lin)
2Department of Life Science, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan. E-mail: oscaraurum14@gmail.com (Ou)
3Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan. E-mail: hmchen@mail.ntou.edu.tw (Chen)

Received 7 July 2021 / Accepted 28 January 2021
Communicated by Felipe Ottoni

Fish fossils are only occasionally found in Taiwan, and such fossils are rarely appropriately analyzed and described. Despite their sparse records, several Plio-Pleistocene localities rich in marine organisms have yielded well-preserved specimens, potentially providing insight into the rarely identified fish fauna in the tropical-subtropical West Pacific. We describe a sandstone nodule containing fish skeletons from the Late
Pleistocene Szekou Formation in southern Taiwan. The specimen includes nearly complete left jaws, fragmentary right jaws, and part of the anterior body. The distinct dentition of the specimen suggests it to be a member of Sparidae family. Further morphological analysis based on dentition and a comparison with 153 recent specimens belonging to 14 sparid species in the area enabled us to assign the fossil to the species Pagrus major. We found that the characteristic sparid tooth patterns are useful in generic determination, at least in Taiwan. The occurrence of the specimen is the first evidence of P. major in the region. Finally, the specialized tooth pattern and the estimated size indicate that the fish was a middle-to-top predator that fed on small fish and invertebrates in a neritic lagoonal environment.

Key words: Dentition, Morphology, Paleoecology, Szekou Formation, Taxonomy.

Citation: Lin CH, Ou HY, Lin CY, Chen HM. 2022. First skeletal fossil record of the red seabream Pagrus major (Sparidae, Perciformes) from the Late Pleistocene of subtropical West Pacific, southern Taiwan. Zool Stud 61:10. doi:10.6620/ZS.2022.61-10.

Supplementary Materials: Appendix 1 | Fig. S1 | Table S1 | Supplementary file S1