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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

NSU Research Spotlight: Rare Species Donated to Halmos College Fish Collection

Fish Sharkbyte 2

Nina Pruzinsky taking crested oarfish tissue samples

Over the past several weeks, two rare fish enhanced the Halmos College Fish Collection: a crested oarfish and a sharptail Mola. The crested oarfish Lophotus lacepede was caught on Jan 20, 2019 off South Carolina by the commercial fishing boat F/V Ellen Jean by Captain Greg O’Neill. Captain O’Neill worked with Halmos College faculty member David Kerstetter, Ph.D. when Kerstetter was in graduate school. With the help of a collaborating fish dealer in Fort Pierce, the oarfish arrived at the Oceanographic campus on January 23. The oarfish measure 135cm in length (over four feet).

David Kerstetter, Glenn Goodwin, and Abby Nease discussing plans for the sharptail mola dissection, with members of Amy Hirons’ “Oceanography” undergraduate course in the background.

David Kerstetter, Glenn Goodwin, and Abby Nease discussing plans for the sharptail mola dissection, with members of Amy Hirons’ “Oceanography”.

The sharptail mola Masturus lanceolatus washed up dead on Hollywood Beach on January 29 and was reported by Steve Salafrio of the City of Hollywood to Halmos Research Scientist Derek Burkholder, Ph.D., who arranged with Halmos Ph.D. candidate Glenn Goodwin to bring it to the Oceanographic campus.  It measured 165 cm in length (over five feet).

Both are extremely rare and poorly-known species, almost never seen in fresh condition and rarely even in museum collections. Halmos faculty member Chris Blanar, Ph.D. and Halmos College graduate and undergraduates examined the fresh specimens for parasites, finding several on each fish. The parasite findings are so unusual that this finding is being written into student manuscripts.

Once the preliminary research is completed, both fish will be added to the Halmos College teaching collection to be used in graduate and undergraduate marine biology courses.