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Volume 12, Issue 1, November 2006

Volume 12, Issue 1 – November 2006


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Jennifer Schultz and John E. Randall: Ostorhinchus leslie, a new coral-reef cardinalfish from American Samoa, pp. 1-10


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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Underwater photograph of adult of Ostorhinchus leslie, lagoon of Rose Atoll, American Samoa. Photo by J. E. Maragos




Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann: Paracheilinus walton, a new species of flasherwrasse (Perciformes: Labridae) from Papua, Indonesia with a key to the species of Paracheilinus, pp.11-18


The Indo-Pacific labrid fish Paracheilinus walton is described from four male specimens, 34.8-40.7 mm SL, and two females, 27.7-38.9 mm SL, collected in 46 m at Yapen Island, Papua, Indonesia. It most closely resembles the sympatric P. cyaneus (South China Sea to Solomon Islands), but differs most noticeably with regards  to its smaller maximum size (about 45 vs. 55 mm SL ) and lower number of elongate dorsal rays (3-4 versus 6-8) in males. There are also significant differences in the “flasher” courtship pattern of males of the two species. Paracheilinus walton has a white to slightly yellowish dorsal fin that contrasts vividly with the intense red colour (black when viewed under ambient light) of the adjacent back compared to the brilliant turquoise blue to whitish dorsal fin and back of P. cyaneus. Moreover, there is a pronounced difference in the shape and orientation of the elongate filaments. In P. walton these are relatively broad and uniform in width throughout their length, terminating in rounded, club-shaped tips. When fully erect, the distal third of the protruding rays are curved posteriorly. In contrast, the slender, tapered rays of P. cyaneus are not rigidly curved posteriorly. A key is given to the 15 species of Paracheilinus.

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Underwater photograph of Paracheilinus walton, male approximately 45 mm SL, Yapen Island, Papua. Photo by G. R. Allen





Uwe Zajonz: Plectranthias klausewitzi n. sp. (Teleostei, Perciformes, Serranidae), a new anthiine fish from the deep waters of the southern Red Sea, pp.19-26


A new deep-water serranid, Plectranthias klausewitzi, is described from seven specimens, dredged in deep waters of the southern Red Sea. The new species differs from its congeners by the following combination of characters: soft dorsal-fin rays 14-15; pectoral-fin rays 14-15, branched except the uppermost; lateral line complete, tubed scales 29; oblique rows of scales on cheek 7-8; no scales on maxilla and ventral aspects of head; posterior preopercular margin serrate, ventral margin without conspicuous spines; third dorsal spine longest; 9-10 oblique dark bars on dorsal half of body, fused mediolaterally, two dark spots on caudal fin. This is the first record of a deep-dwelling species of the genus Plectranthias from the Red Sea.

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Plectranthias klausewitzi n. sp.; holotype (SMF 29279), 44.9 mm SL. Drawing of habitus in lateral view. Drawing by G. Eder




Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdmann: Pterocaesio flavifasciata, a new species of fusilier (Teleostei: Caesionidae) from Sumatra, Indonesia, pp. 27-30


A new species of caesionid fish, Pterocaesio flavifasciata, is described on the basis seven specimens, 164.0-204.3 mm SL, collected at Weh Island, Sumatra, Indonesia during May 2005. Its distinct colour pattern, consisting of two exceptionally broad yellow stripes on a blue or blue-green ground, is unique for the family. Two other species, P. digramma and P. marri, also possess a pair of yellow stripes on the upper side, but  they are much narrower, only 1-2 scale rows wide compared to 4-5 rows in P. flavifasciata.

Abstract | Full Text | PDF (128 KB)




Underwater photograph of Pterocaesio flavifasciata, approximately 220 mm total length, Weh Island, Sumatra in 20 m depth. Photo by G. R. Allen


Flávio C. T. Lima, Jacques Géry, Jansen A. S. Zuanon and Axel Zarske: Astyanax dnophos Lima & Zuanon, a junior synonym of Moenkhausia heikoi Géry & Zarske (Ostariophysi: Characiformes: Characidae), pp. 31-34


Moenkhausia heikoi Géry & Zarske, 2004 and Astyanax dnophos Lima & Zuanon, 2004 were described almost simultaneously from the Rio Xingú drainage in Brazil. A comparison of the holotypes of the two nominal species revealed that they are conspecific, despite their original assignments to two different genera. The publication of the description of M. heikoi preceded that of A. dnophos by five days and has priority over the latter, which becomes a subjective junior synonym.

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Moenkhausia heikoi, Géry and Zaske 2004 synonym Astyanax dnophos Lima and Zuanon 2004. Photo by N. Khardina





John E. Randall: Validation of the gobiid fish genus Pascua, pp. 35-38


The gobiid fish genus Pascua Randall, 2005, type species P. caudilinea Randall, 2005 from Easter Island, placed in the synonymy of Hetereleotris Bleeker, 1874 by Hoese & Larson (2005), is validated. Hetereleotris sticta from Rapa and H. readerae from Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs are reclassified in Pascua. Thirteen Indo-Pacific species of gobies were placed in the genus Hetereleotris by Hoese (1986). The first character given in his diagnosis of the genus was “the first gill slit closed by a membrane from the gill cover to one-half or more of the lower limb of the first gill arch.” The remaining characters given by Hoese for Hetereleotris are so diverse that it is likely that the genus will be divided into several genera when a thorough phylogenetic study is made. In view of the distinctive characters shared by the three South Pacific species (admitted as a probable monophyletic series by Hoese & Larson 2005), Pascua will no doubt survive as a genus.

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Paratype of Pascua caudilinea, BPBM 6745, 27 mm SL, Easter Island



Gerald R. Allen and John E. Randall: Vanderhorstia nobilis, a new species of shrimpgoby from Indonesia and the Philippines, pp. 39-44


A new species of gobiid fish, Vanderhorstia nobilis, is described from the Philippines and Indonesia on the basis of three specimens, 32.0-43.4 mm SL. Diagnostic features include 16 dorsal soft rays, 17 anal soft rays, 63-68 longitudinal scales, and a moderately stout (females, depth 5.2-5.3 in SL) to  slender (male holotype, depth 6.9 in SL) body. It is similar to a pair of undescribed species from Indonesia and Japan, but clearly differs on the basis of colour pattern, which in males is characterized by a mid-dorsal, neon blue stripe on the head, irregular orange spots, bars, and bands on the cheek, operculum, and adjacent pectoral-fin base, a pair of broad brownish-orange stripes on the dorsal half of body edged with a pair of narrower stripes of pale blue, a dark brown to subtle light brown orange spot (sometimes greatly reduced) on the first dorsal fin between the second and fifth spines, a dark submarginal stripe on the posterior two-thirds of anal fin, and small orange spots covering the pelvic fins. Females are slightly less colourful, but possess a distinctive triangular first dorsal fin with a brownish to bright orange yellow spot narrowing distally to middle of fin.

Abstract | Full Text | PDF (160 KB)





Underwater photograph of Vanderhorstia nobilis, male, about 70 mm total length, Culion Island, Calamianes Group, Philippines. Photo by R. Steene





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