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Overlapping external morphometric characters easily confound the flatfishes Solea aegyptiaca and Solea solea (Soleidae) in areas of the Mediterranean Sea where both species live in sympatry. This leads to uncertainties in the fisheries and marketing of the species, in addition to misinterpretations in biogeography and conservation studies. This paper describes a simple restriction fragment length-based diagnostic test that differentiates S. solea from S. aegyptiaca, as well as from other species of the Soleidae family. Furthermore, the two species living in sympatry in the Gulf of Kavala (North Aegean Sea, Greece) present significant qualitative differences in muscle fatty acid composition, a property that can also be used to distinguish the two cryptic species.


Evridiki Boukouvala, Alessia Cariani, Gregory E Maes, Rafael G Sevilla, Véronique Verrez-Bagnis, Marc Jérôme, Ilaria Guarniero, Georgios Monios, Fausto Tinti, Filip A M Volckaert, José M Bautista, Grigorios Krey. Restriction fragment length analysis of the cytochrome b gene and muscle fatty acid composition differentiate the cryptic flatfish species Solea solea and Solea aegyptiaca. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry. 2012 Aug 15;60(32):7941-8

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PMID: 22809443

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