Marine Biodiversity Records
Caribbean, DNA barcoding, First record, Megamouth shark, Puerto Rico, Range extension
Background: A new record of Megachasma pelagios is here reported for the tropical western North Atlantic Ocean from Puerto Rico. Results: On December 10, 2016, a tourist reported an unusual stranded shark on Mojacasabe Beach, Cabo Rojo, on the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico. Visual examination of the carcass and mitochondrial DNA analysis from a dorsal fin sample revealed it to be a 457 cm female megamouth shark. Conclusion: This record represents the first record of M. pelagios for the tropical western North Atlantic Ocean within the Caribbean Sea of southwest Puerto Rico and only the second record of M. pelagios from the North Atlantic.
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Rodriguez-Ferrer, Grisel; Bradley M. Wetherbee; Michelle Schärer; Craig Lilyestrom; Jan P. Zegarra; and Mahmood Shivji. 2017. "First record of the megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios, (family Megachasmidae) in the tropical western North Atlantic Ocean." Marine Biodiversity Records 10, (1). doi:10.1186/s41200-017-0117-y.