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Volume 16, Issue 1, 20 January 2010

Volume 16, Issue 1 – 20 January 2010

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John E. Randall and Erwin Schraml: Notes on soapfishes (Serranidae: Grammistinae), with a pictorial review of the genus Pogonoperca, pp. 1-6


The skin toxin of soapfishes of the family Serranidae, subfamily Grammistinae is reviewed. A resumé is given of the classification of the genus Pogonoperca, represented by P. punctata in the central and western Pacific, and P. ocellata in the Indian Ocean. Color illustrations are provided of the adults of these two species and three juvenile to subadult stages of P. punctata. In addition, an aquarium photo is presented that represents a probable undescribed species of Pogonoperca for which no specimens are known. The listing by Boulenger (1895) of ?Grammistes compressus Liénard at the head of his synonymy for Pogonoperca ocellata Günther (1859) is shown to be an invalid name for Aulacocephalus temminckii Bleeker, following Michel (1972) and Monod (1976). Color illustrations of A. temminckii are provided.

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Pogonoperca sp., estimated 165 mm TL, locality unknown. Photo by E. Schraml



Matthew L. Wittenrich, Carole C. Baldwin, Ralph G. Turingan: Larval development of laboratory-reared Green Mandarin, Synchiropus splendidus (Teleostei: Callionymidae), pp. 7-18            


Larvae of Synchiropus splendidus (Herre, 1927) were obtained from natural spawnings of two wild-collected pairs of adults. Egg and larval development of S. splendidus is similar to that described for other callionymids. Eggs measure 0.8 mm in diameter and hatch after 13-16 hours at 26°C. Newly hatched larvae measure 1.56 ± .04 mm NL and begin feeding four days post-hatching (DPH) at 1.74 ± .06mm NL. The notochord accounts for 20% of the body length at 12 DPH. Larvae lack heavy ventral pigmentation, but have three distinctive lines of pigment on the posterior portion of the body – one along the base of the dorsal fin, one along the base of the anal fin, and one along mid-body. Larvae exhibit an ontogenetic color change from yellow to orange prior to settlement. Incidence of settlement was highest between 16-20 DPH. Ontogeny, including osteological development, is des­cribed from hatching to the juvenile stage.

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 Synchiropus splendidus





Gerald R. Allen and Christine L. Dudgeon: Hemiscyllium michaeli, a new species of Bamboo Shark (Hemiscyllidae) from Papua New Guinea, pp. 19-30


Hemiscyllium michaeli new species is described from six specimens, 257-695 mm TL, collected at eastern Papua New Guinea. The species was previously confused with H. freycineti, which is restricted to Papua Barat Province (western New Guinea), Indonesia. The two species differ primarily in colour pattern, which provides the best means of separating the various members of the genus. Both species have a profuse covering of brown spots with a large black or brown ocellated marking on the middle of the side, just behind the head. The spots of H. michaeli n. sp. are generally denser, larger, and distinctly polygonal, remarkably similar to the spots of a leopard. In contrast those of H. freycineti are round to transversely elongate and are darkened at regular intervals to form 8-9 bars or saddle-like markings (including those on the tail). The difference in spot pattern between the two species is particularly evident in the head region. In addition, H. michaeli n. sp. possesses a vivid ocellate black spot behind the head, whereas the black spot of H. freycineti is generally not well defined. Comparison of the mitochondrial ND4 gene also supports the species-level separation of these species.

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Underwater photograph of Hemiscyllium freycineti, approximately 600 mm TL, Cri Island, Raja Ampat Islands, Papua Province, Indonesia, at depth of 2 m. Photo by G. R. Allen.                       




Michel Bariche: First record of the angelfish Pomacanthus maculosus (Teleostei: Pomacanthidae) in the Mediterranean, pp. 31-33


The Western Indian Yellowbar Angelfish Pomacanthus maculosus is recorded for the first time from the eastern Mediterranean, in the coastal waters of Lebanon. Two individuals were observed underwater but only one specimen was obtained. These records suggest a very recent presence of the species in the Mediterranean. Because of the proximity to the Suez Canal, it is considered as a new case of Lessepsian migration. However, other means of introduction cannot be ruled out.

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Specimen of the yellowbar angelfish Pomacanthus maculosus caught off Beirut, Lebanon.




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Notes on soapfishes (Serranidae: Grammistinae), with a pictorial review of the genus Pogonoperca

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