New Caledonia Fish Species of the genus Sicyopterus (Teleostei: Gobiodei: Sicydiinae)

Ronald E. Watson, Gerard Marquet and Christine Pollabauer

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 5-34, Volume 4, Issue 1 – June 2000


Sicyopterus Gill from New Caledonia is Reviewed and the genus is diagnosed. Sicyopterus lacogephalus (Pallas) has a wide geographic distribution: it occurs in streams on the Comoro and Mascarene Islands in the western Indian Ocean; on society Islands in the central Pacific and is known to extend from New Caledonia to southern Japan. Sicyopterus lacogephalus is distinguished from its congeners by 11 segmented rays in the second dorsal fin and by the following combination of characters: usually 9 (17-22) pectoral rays; scales in predorsal midline usually 13-16 (11-20) with anterior scales smaller than those posteriorly; scales in lateral series usually 51-54 (49-59); scales on trunk and belly about same size as on caudal peduncle; transverse forward scales usually 18; ventral edge of upper lip usually smooth with clefts anteriorly and midlaterally; and caudal fin with a blackish horseshoe-shaped band close to margin and medial rays dusky to blackish usually extending to horseshoe-shaped band. No type is known to exist and for this reason a neotype for Gobius lagocephalus is designated. Sicyopterus sarasini Weber & de Beaufort is an uncommon New Caledonia endemic. It is distinguished from all congeners by the presence of 10 segmented rays in the second dorsal fin and by the following combination of characters: usually 19 pectoral rays; scales in predorsal midline small, cycloid and variable (0-26); scales I lateral series 45-65, with scales on flanks much smaller than those on caudal peduncle which may be widely separated; transverse forward scales variable, with ventral scales small (14-31); scales o belly much smaller than on caudal peduncle and belly may be fully scald or entirely naked; ventral edge of upper lip usually with some crenulation and clefts anteriorly and midlaterally. Males of S. sarasii differ from congeners with clefts present anteriorly and midlaterally in upper lip, in not hving scales embedded anteriorly or covered marginally with spongy tissue. A lectotype for Sicyopterus sarasini is designated from the original syntype series.

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