Ostorhinchus leslie, a new coral-reef cardinalfish from American Samoa

Jennifer Schultz and John E. Randall

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 1-10, Volume 12, Issue 1 – November 2006


A new species of cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus leslie, is described from Rose Atoll and Tutuila, American Samoa from five specimens and one from Banks Islands, Vanuatu. This species has a distinctive color pattern, characterized by yellow, shading to red posteriorly, with blue lines on the head, and often with red on the snout. It is most similar to the all-yellow O. luteus found in Micronesia from the Marshall Islands to Palau. Because we were able to differentiate the two species only by color, we verified genetic isolation of the two species by sequencing a 748 base pair region of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Maximum likelihood and neighbor-joining phylogenetic analyses, using Pristiapogon kallopterus as an outgroup, indicate reciprocal monophyly with 100 % bootstrap support. Pairwise within species sequence divergence (dmax = 0.00945) is an order of magnitude lower than the 8.2 % average sequence divergence between the sister species. Genetic novelty supports the taxonomic distinction of O. leslie.

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