Pterois andover, a new species of scorpionfish (Pisces: Scorpaenidae) from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea

Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 127-138, Volume 13, Issue 3-4 – 23 January 2008


A new species of scorpionfish, Pterois andover, is described on the basis of six specimens, 83.9-168.0 mm SL, collected at southwestern Halmahera and western New Guinea (Papua and Papua Barat  provinces, Indonesia). It has also been photographed at northern Sulawesi and Flores, Indonesia and Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. The new taxon superficially resembles P. volitans, a sympatric widespread Pacific species, but differs in having larger body scales ( 81 and 18-25 respectively) and usually 13 versus 14 pectoral-fin rays. The two species are readily distinguished underwater on the basis of dorsal fin morphology, particularly the shape and colour of the spine membranes. Pterois andover possesses a narrow membrane posteriorly on each spine, which is more or less uniform brown and terminates in an exaggerated pennant-like structure. In contrast, the membranes of P. volitans are broader, boldly striped, and usually lack a well differentiated terminal pennant. The new species also has consistently fewer and fainter spots on the caudal, soft-dorsal, and soft-anal fins except for the population of P. volitans from western Australia.

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