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Volume 22, Issue 1 – 15 January 2016


Volume 22, Issue 1 – 15 January 2016
New Scientific publication – started delivery on January 15, 2016

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Gerald R. Allen, Peter J. Unmack and Renny K. Hadiaty: The Goldiei group of rainbowfishes (Melanotaeniidae) from the Birds Neck Region of New Guinea (Papua and West Papua Provinces, Indonesia) with descriptions of five new species and recognition of Melanotaenia dumasi Weber, pp. 1-32

Genetic investigations reveal the closely-related “Goldiei” group of melanotaeniids from the Birds Neck region of western New Guinea contains at least six species, including five new taxa, which are described herein. Members of this group share a wide range of morphological and meristic features and lack notable differences, although discrepancies in modal or average values are sometimes useful. Due to their great similarity, the species in this group are most reliably distinguished on the basis of genetic differences and their allopatric geographic  distributions. Three of the new species, including M. bowmani, M. grunwaldi, and M. mamahensis, represent the first descriptions of this southern New Guinea lineage from northern drainages. The ancestral species possibly colonised northward via the Omba-Woromi corridor, a low elevation (to 160 m) area linking the respective southern and northern drainages. The remaining three species, including the previously described M. dumasi Weber (previously considered a synonym of M. goldiei) from the Yamur Lake area and two new taxa, M. etnaensis and M. lacunosa from the vicinity of Etna Bay, inhabit southern drainages.

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Aquarium photographs of Melanotaenia etnaensis, adult male, (upper), approximately 100 mm SL and female, approximately 65 mm SL, Ambalanga River, Etna Bay, West Papua Province, Indonesia. Photos by G. R. Allen.



David C. Shen and Eugenie Clark: Territorial and reproductive behavior of the three Caribbean Razorfishes of the Genus Xyrichtys (Labridae) at Bonaire, pp. 33-59

We conducted field studies of the three known species of Caribbean razorfishes of the genus Xyrichtys at four study sites in Bonaire during 1984, 1985, 1986, and 2013. At one site locally named “Red Slave,” a large colony of rosy razorfish, X. martinicensis and a small colony of green razorfish, X. splendens, were essentially the same during 1985 and 28 years later in 2013. At “Mi Cas,” all three species, X. martinicensis, X. splendens, and the pearly razorfish, X. novacula, were present both in 1984 and 29 years later in 2013. “Triple Whammy” in the Kralendijk harbor contained all three species in the mid-eighties, but in 2013 their presence could not be observed because diving in the harbor was prohibited. However, just south of the harbor at “Double Whammy,” the site that was only studied in 2013, did contain a small colony of X. martinicensis and one harem of X. splendens. All three species are antagonistic interspecifically and intraspecifically, defend their own territories, and have a pecking order based roughly on size. We mapped out colonies from individual territory borders to harem borders to colony borders. We observed their use of “dive sites,” spots in their sandy habitat within their own territory into which they would dive when in danger or for the night. Each fish had two or more of these “dive sites,” which they maintained. We observed 155, 57, and 94 spawnings of X. martinicensis, X. splendens, and X. novacula, respectively. Spawnings occurred in the late afternoon before sunset. There was some egg cannibalism among X. martinicensis and X. splendens, but not with X. novacula. We syringed eggs for lab observation and timed their hatching. Feeding behavior of each species as well as observed interactions with other species are discussed.

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Xyrichtys novacula male with black and white age spots. Photo by D. C. Shen.

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