Heteroconger mercyae, a new species of garden eel (Congridae: Heterocongrinae) from West Papua, Indonesia

Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 135-142, Volume 15, Issue 3 – 20 July 2009


A new species of heterocongrine garden eel is described from West Papua, Indonesia based on 13 specimens, 106.3-678.1 mm TL. It differs from other members of the genus by its distinct colour pattern, consisting of zebra-like black and white barring on the head grading to a complex black and white maze pattern on the body and a combination of features that include dorsal fin origin anterior to gill opening, pterygoid teeth present, body depth at gill opening 28.8-35.2 percent of head length, 62-71 (mean = 65) preanal vertebrae, 204-213 (mean =207.4) total vertebrae, and 63-69 (mean = 65.7) preanal lateral-line pores. A key is provided for the Indo-west Pacific species of Heteroconger.

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