Using otolith shape analysis to distinguish barracudas Sphyraena sphyraena and Sphyraena viridensis from the Algerian coast Sphyraena sphyraena and Sphyraena viridensis
Otolith shape analyses were conducted on two species of barracudas (Sphyraena sphyraena and Sphyraena viridensis) from the Gulf of Annaba (south-western Mediterranean). The otolith shape was described by elliptic Fourier descriptors from 14 harmonics and by five indices of shape (coefficient of form, roundness, circularity, rectangularity and ellipticity). The comparison through canonical discriminant analyses (CDA) was performed between species and between right and left otoliths. The CDA demonstrated strong discrimination of the two species, with significant differences and a high classification success. The percentage of well-classified individuals in predefined groups was higher than 80%. The combined use of morphometric variables (from indices) and external outlines (shape analysis through Fourier series) demonstrated the importance of otolith shape for interspecific discrimination.