Hoplolatilus randalli, a new species of sand tilefish (Pisces: Malacanthidae) from the tropical western Pacific with comments on the validity of

Gerald R. Allen, Mark V. Erdmann and Alison M. Hamilton

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 171-186, Volume 16, Issue 4 – 15 October 2010


Hoplolatilus randalli n. sp. is described on the basis of 13 specimens, 46.7-158.2 mm SL, collected at the Banda Islands and West Papua in Indonesia, Luzon in northern Philippines, Palau and Yap in Micronesia, and the Solomon Islands. The species has previously been confused with H. fronticinctus Günther, a closely related species that is restricted to the Indian Ocean from eastern Africa to the East Andaman Sea. The two species can be distinguished by basic colour differences, particularly the predominately greenish colour of H. randalli n. sp. and mainly bluish hue of H. fronticinctus. They also differ in caudal fin lobe shape; both species have an emarginate caudal fin, but the posterior edge of each lobe is slightly convex in H. randalli n. sp. and straight in H. fronticinctus. In addition, H. randalli n. sp. has longer dorsal spines (last spine 2.5-3.0 vs. 3.5-4.1 in HL) and longer soft dorsal rays (longest ray 1.1-1.4 vs. 1.5-1.7 in HL). Genetic data are also provided that confirm its validity. Additionally, we include comprehensive evidence (morphological, genetic, and ontogenetic colour pattern differences) for the recognition of H. luteus, which was recently considered a junior synonym of H. fourmanoiri.

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