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


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.

Full Text | PDF (160 KB)


Aarn, Ivantsoff, W. & M. Kottelat. 1998. Phylogenetic analysis of Telmatherinidae (Teleostei: Therinomorpha) with description of Marosatherina, a new genus from Sulawesi. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 9 (3): 311-323.

Audley-Charles, M. G. 1987. Dispersal of Gondwanaland: relevance to evolution of the angioArchipelago. (Ed. T.C Whitmore). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 5-25.

Chedhomme, J. & J. Gaudant. 1984. Sur une nouvelle espèce du genre Palaeoatherina Gaudant (Poissons Téléostéens, Atherinomorpha) decouverte dans l’Eocène superior continental environs d’Organac-Lagen (Ardèche). Geologie Méditerranéenne, 11 (4): 303-19.

Crowley, L. E. L. M. 1990. Biogeography and the systematics of the endemic freshwater fish genus Craterocephalus (Family Atherinidae). Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Crowley, L. E. L. M. & W. Ivantsoff. 1988. A n. sp. of Australian Craterocephalus (Pisces: Atherinidae) and redescription of four other species. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 14 (2): 151169.

Crowley, L. E. L. M. & W. Ivantsoff. 1990. A review of species previously identified as Craterocephalus eyresii (Pisces: Atherinidae). Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 12 (1): 4157.

Crowley, L. E. L. M. & W. Ivantsoff. 1992. Redefinition of the freshwater genus, Craterocephalus (Teleostei: Atherinidae) of Australia and New Guinea with an analysis of three species. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 3 (3): 1-15.

Forman, D. J. & D. W. Wales, 1981. Geological evolution of the Canning Basin, Western Australia. Australian Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geological and Geophysical Bulletin, 210: 1-91.

Gaudant, J. 1981. L’ichthyofaune du Messinien continental d’Italie septentrionale et sa signification geodynamique. Paleontographica, 172 (1-3): 72-102.

Harris, J. 1984. Zoogeography of Australian freshwater fish fauna. In: Vertebrate zoogeography and evolution in Australasia. (Eds. Archer M. & G. Clayton,) Hesperian Press, pp. 211-224.

Heyward, A., Pinceratto, E. & L .Smith. 1997. Big Bank Shoals of the Timor Sea, an environmental resource atlas. BHP Petroleum, Brisbane.

Hubbs, C. L. & K. F. Lagler. 1958. Fishes of the Great Lakes Region, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 213 pp.

Ivantsoff, W. 1978. Taxonomic and systematic review of the Australian fish species of the family Atherinidae with reference to related species of the Old World. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Macquarie University, Sydney.

Ivantsoff, W., Crowley, L. E. L. M. & G. R Allen. l987a. Description of a new species of freshwater hardyhead Craterocephalus kailolae (Pisces: Atherinidae) from Safia, northeastern Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 109 (3): 33137.

Ivantsoff, W., Crowley, L. E. L. M. & G. R. Allen. l987b. Description of three new species and one subspecies of freshwater hardyhead (Pisces: Atherinidae: Craterocephalus) from Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 13 (2): 171188.

McDowall, R. M. 1981. The relationships of Australian freshwater fishes. In: Keast, A. (ed.) Ecological biogeography of Australia. Vol. 2. Dr. W. Junk, The Hague-Boston-London, pp. 1251-1275.

Nichols, J. T. & Raven, H. C. 1934. Two new freshwater fishes (Percesoces) from New Guinea. American Museum Novitates, 755: 1-4.

Prince, J. D., Ivantsoff, W. & I. C. Potter. 1982. Atherinosoma wallacei a new species of estuarine and inland silverside (Teleostei: Atherinidae) from the Swan-Avon and Murray Rivers, Western Australia. Australian Zoologist, 21 (1): 63-74.

Pusey, B., Kennard, M. & A. Arthington. 2004. Freshwater Fishes of North-Eastern Australia. 2004. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Vic. 684pp.

Quilty, P. G. 1984. Mesozoic and Cenozoic history of Australia as it affects the Australian biota. In: Arid Australia. (Eds. Cogger, H. G. & E. E. Cameron). Surry Beatty and Sons, Sydney, pp.7-55.

Saeed, B. & W. Ivantsoff. 1991. Kalyptatherina, the first telmatherinid genus known outside Sulawesi. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, 2 (3): 227-238.

Svichenskaya, A. A. 1973. Mullet-like fossils in the USSR. Trudi Paleontologii Instituta Akademii Nauk SSSR (Moskva), 138: 1-64 [in Russian].

Talent, J. A. 1984. Australian biogeography: past and present: determinants and implications In: Phanerozoic Earth History of Australia. (Ed. Veevers, J. J.): 57-93. Oxford Geological Science Series No. 2. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Taylor, W. B. 1967. Outline of a method of clearing tissues with pancreatic enzyme and staining bones of small vertebrates. Turtox News, 45 (12): 308-309.

Veevers, J. J. (ed.) 1984. Phanerozoic earth history of Australia. Clarendon Press, Oxford. Weber, M. 1910. Neue Fische aus Niederländisch Süd-Neu-Guinea. Notes Leyden Museum, 32: 225-240.

Previous post

Neopomacentrus sororius, a new species of damselfish from the Indian Ocean, with description of a neotype for its sister species, N. azysron (Bleeker)

Next post

Volume 10, Issue 3, October 2005

The Author



No Comment

Leave a reply