Papers/Abstracts

Description of a new species of freshwater hardyhead, Craterocephalus laisapi (Pisces, Atherinidae) from East Timor

Helen K. Larson, Walter Ivantsoff, and L. E. L. M. Crowley

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 81-88, Volume 10, Issue 2 – July 2005

Abstract

A new species of freshwater hardyhead, Craterocephalus laisapi, is described from the Ira Siquero River (8°26.36’S 127°10.17’E), East Timor. This is the first record of the genus which has hitherto been known only from Australia and from the southern rivers of the island of New Guinea. The new species is aligned with the Craterocephalus eyresii group which includes 10 other species spread widely across Australia and with one species occurring in south-eastern New Guinea. Craterocephalus laisapi superficially resembles C. centralis and C. cuneiceps from central and western Australia but is distinct and different from them. Freshwater members of the genus have short, almost tubercular gill rakers in the lower half of the gill arch and the rakers of the upper half are almost indistinct. Craterocephalus laisapi has relatively long lower gill arch rakers and the upper gill rakers are quite prominent. The occurrence of the new species is not biogeographically surprising as its close atherinomorph relatives, the Pseudomugilidae and Telmatherinidae, are known to occur on islands near Timor. A table of meristic and morphometric characters of all known members of the “C. eyresii” group” is presented.

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