Volume 73

Mitochondrial analysis reveals Octopus insularis as the common shallow-water octopus of the Colombian Caribbean

Puentes Sayo, A; J. Torres Rodríguez; O. P. Lecompte
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Date: November, 2020

Pages: 79

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Three Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Virtual

Country: Virtual


The common octopus of the Colombian Caribbean has been considered for several years as Octopus vulgaris, local artisanal fisheries exploit this species of great ecological and economic importance, and however, a complete evaluation of its identity has not been made so far. In order to address its identification and its relationships with other members of the Octopus vulgaris species complex, 58 octopuses were sampled from five localities of the Caribbean coast (Providencia, San Andrés, Santa Marta, Cartagena and Isla Fuerte) and were genetically identified. The molecular analysis of the 16S ribosomal RNA (r16S), Cytochrome oxidase subunit III (COIII) and Cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) mitochondrial genes revealed the presence of Octopus insularis as the common shallow-water octopus of the Colombian Caribbean. The topologies generated by the three genes confirmed the monophyletic status of the specie showing individuals collected in this study and O. insularis from different locations, as a solid cluster supported by high values. Genetic distances of the mitochondrial genes also confirmed this finding (0.000 – 0.003). Our results allow to extend the known distribution of O. insularis to the southwestern Caribbean – Colombian coast, solving the identity of the common octopus in this region. We discuss our results in the context of the recent octopus species misidentifications involving members of the O. vulgaris species complex in Colombia and emphasize the importance of molecular studies in the delimitation and clarification of species identity, especially those that are exploited, in such a way that marine resources can be properly managed.

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