The nearshore fishes of the Cedros Archipelago and their biogeographic affinities


Located in the central region of the west coast of Baja California Peninsula, the Cedros Archipelago consists of five continental islands (Cedros Island, Natividad, San Benito Este, Medio, and Oeste), with Cedros being the largest island in the Mexican Pacific. This archipelago represents the biogeographic transition zone between the temperate and subtropical region and hence, the end of the geographic distribution of a large number of species. Based on field surveys, literature, and scientific collection records, an exhaustive species list of fishes associated with the archipelago and their biogeographic relationships is presented. The checklist includes 269 species belonging to 191 genera, 97 families, 31 orders, and 4 classes. Of the total species, 105 species were recorded in the field, 57 were the result of the literature review, and 218 species of the records were obtained from collections. A total of 14 biogeographic affinities are presented, where 51% of the species have warm-temperate or cold-temperate affinity and 37% have tropical-subtropical affinity. This work highlights the fish diversity present in a transition zone within the temperate and subtropical marine areas of the Northeastern Pacific. More importantly, it reveals a biogeographic region where a great number of species converge, and may be related with the evolutionary history of different taxa and the geological history of the region.

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