I fully agree with your point. Had Chamari just sent a photo of one specimen, I dare say that some would have replied back and written it off as a hybrid. But with so many, could they really be the result of hybridisation? From my eye, they look pretty similar (some almost identical) to those pictured as B. maculisparsa
in the chapter by Feral and Cherbonnier (attached), although I am not saying that is the same species as Chamari has photographed in Sri Lanka. I suspect that there may be some sizeable populations in New Caledonia of what Cherbonnier and Feral named B. maculisparsa
(I had seen it years ago in some numbers at deeper inshore sandy bottom habitats near Mont Dore, New Caledonia). Actually, I seem to recall that Sun had 'written that off' that species as a hybrid in an email some time ago because similar looking specimens in SE Asia came out as hybrids from the genetic work. We were mindful of that in the recent paper about the IUCN Red List findings, and you may have noted that Bohadschia maculisparsa
is actually one of the Vulnerable species. I think that some of the aspidolisters may have found that strange and wondered why it was on the list. The reason was that, from all data that we had, it appears to have a very restricted distribution in a region heavily fished, and the IUCN had to accept it as a valid species because it was on WoRMS and had no publication that we were aware of had shown it to not be a valid species. Time may change that but, for the moment, it is one of the threatened species. Some great genetic work has been done on Bohadschia recently, but I have to agree generally with Chantal that there is more work to do!