Overview

Brief Summary

Interesting Facts

This species is of historical significance in the world of zoology, because it represents the first species name officially registered in ZooBank. ZooBank is intended to be the official online registry for zoological nomneclature, under the auspices of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). It was launched on January 1st, 2008 -- excatly 250 years (to the day) after the officially recognized start of Zoological Nomenclature -- the publication of the 10th Edition of Systema Naturae by Carl Linnaeus. Also, the original description of this species was included in a specially formatted document, the electronic version of which includes nearly 200 embedded links to resources on the web. It was generated to exemplify the potential of electronic documents and the internet for allowing easy and immediate access to supplementary information (analagous in many ways to the Encyclopedia of Life initiative!) Besides its taxonomic significance, this species (which was named in honor of the BBC documentary film production that facilitated the capture of the type specimens) is very striking. When viewed underwater with a dive light, this species is incredibly beautiful, the blue spots on each scale contrasting with the black background, such that each spot appears like a bright blue LED light on every scale of the fish.

Richard L. Pyle

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Succinct

Damselfish with many bright blue spots inhabiting deep coral reefs in the tropical western Pacific.

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Introduction

A striking species of damselfish in the genus Chromis, it was first observed in 1997 by Richard Pyle during a dive to 120 meters (400 feet) in Palau. It was later seen in the same general area by Patrick Colin and Lori Bell from a small submersible, and again from a Remotely Oerated Vehicle (ROV) in Indonesia by Forrest Young. It managed to ellude capture for a full decade, until nine specimens were finally captured in April 2007 at a depths of 107-116 meters (350-380 feet) by researchers using sophisticated closed-circuit rebreather dive gear, who were being filmed as part of a documentary for the BBC. Very little is known about the ecology or behavior of this species, due to its relatively deep-dwelling habits, but it likely feeds on plankton. This species holds a special place in taxonomic history as being the very first species to be registered in ZooBank (the online registry of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature), and for being formally described in an article published exactly 250 years after the official start of Zoological Nomenclature.

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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Adults appear to prefer depths more that 115 m, staying close to the substratum, sand and rubble slope with boulders and rock outcroppings. They take refuge in small caves and holes. Juveniles and some subadults were observed around limestone talus. Adults were usually solitary or in pairs, while subadults and juveniles were seen in small groups. Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate (Ref. 205). Males guard and aerate the eggs (Ref. 205). Other Chromis associated with this species include C. brevirostris, C. degruyi and C. earina (Ref. 59379).
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Voucher Materials

Richard L. Pyle

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Etymology

Named abyssus, a Latinized form of the Greek noun abyssos (meaning "abyss"), to honor the documentary film Pacific Abyss, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which funded the expedition on which the type specimens were collected. The vernacular name "Deep Blue Chromis", a reference to both the life color of this species and the relatively (within the context of the genus) deep-dwelling habits, is suggested instead of the more literally translated "Abyss Chromis", so as not to imply that the species inhabits depths commonly defined as "abyssal".

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Specimen Information

Holotype. BPBM 40861 (81.6 mm SL), Belau (Palau) Islands; off Ngemelis Island; below and slightly N of Blue Holes caverns (7°8'16.49"N, 134°13'18.5"E): above large rock outcrop, 110 m, hand net, R.L. Pyle, 27 April 2007 [PCMB 3113]. Paratypes. BMNH 2007.10.31.1 (50.2 mm SL) [PCMB 3103]. BPBM 40855 (3; 37.6–98.0 mm SL) [PCMB 3100, 3102]. CAS 225755 (64.1 mm SL) [PCMB 3105]. MNHN 2007.1922 (63.7 mm SL) [PCMB 3104]. USNM 391136 (2; 44.4–90.2 mm SL) [PCMB 3101]. WAM P.32898-001 (64.5 mm SL) [PCMB 3106]. All from same locality as holotype: sand and rubble slope with scattered rock outcroppings, 107–116 m, quinaldine and hand net, R.L. Pyle and B.D. Greene, 25 April 2007. No other specimens known.

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Original Description

Pyle, R.L., J.L. Earle & B.D. Greene. 2008. Five new species of the damselfish genus Chromis (Perciformes: Labroidei: Pomacentridae) from deep coral reefs in the tropical western Pacific. Zootaxa. 1671: 3–31.

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Distribution

Palau, western Pacific [questionably from Manado, Indonesia on a photo].
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Western Pacific: Palau.
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Distribution Maps

Richard L. Pyle

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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12 - 13; Analspines: 2; Analsoft rays: 12 - 14
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Size

Max. size

9.8 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 59379))
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Physical Description

A damselfish of the genus Chromis, with fourteen dorsal-fin spines and 12–13 dorsal-fin soft rays; two anal-fin spines and 12–14 anal-fin soft rays; 18–19 pectoral-fin rays; 15 caudal-fin rays; 14–16 tubed lateral-line scales; and 24–25 gill rakers. The body is deep, it's depth approximately 55-63% of the Standard Length; and laterally compressed, it's width approximately 28–38% of the body depth. The background color of the body and median fins is charcoal black with a prominent bright blue spot on each scale; this spot shines brightly when illuminated with a diver's light, giving the overall appearance of a metallic blue color.

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Diagnostic Description

This species is distinguished by the following characters: Dorsal rays XIV,12-13, usually 13; anal rays II,12-14, usually 13; pectoral rays 18-19, usually 19; spiniform caudal rays 3; tubed lateral-line scales 14-16; gill rakers 6-7 + 17-18, usually 7 + 18, total 24-25, usually 25; body depth 1.58-1.83 in SL; the color when fresh is dark gray with a large iridescent dark blue spot at center of each scale; membranes on median fins and pelvic fins opaque charcoal gray, with an iridescent dark blue margin on the spinous part of the dorsal and anal fins; caudal fin mottled iridescent dark blue and black; pectoral fins with a black ovoid spot covering the basal portion and pectoral-fin axis (Ref. 59379).
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Holotype . BPBM 4086163 (81.6 mm SL), Belau ( Palau ) Islands ; off Ngemelis Island ; below and slightly N of Blue Holes caverns ( 7°8'16.49"N , 134°13'18.5"E ): above large rock outcrop, 110 m, hand net , R.L. Pyle , 27 April 2007 [ PCMB 311364 ] .

 

HolotypeParatypes

 

BPBMBMNHBPBMBPBMBPBMCASMNHNUSNMUSNM W A M 40861 2007.10.31.1 40855 40855 40855 225755 2007-1922 391136 391136 P.32898

 

Paratypes . BMNH 2007.10.31.165 (50.2 mm SL) [ PCMB 310366 ] . BPBM 4085567 (3; 37.6-98.0 mm SL) [ PCMB 310068 , 310269 ] . CAS 22575570 (64.1 mm SL) [ PCMB 310571 ] . MNHN 2007.192272 (63.7 mm SL) [ PCMB 310473 ] . USNM 39113674 (2; 44.4-90.2 mm SL) [ PCMB 310175 ] . WAM P.32898-00176 (64.5 mm SL) [ PCMB 310677 ] . All from same locality as holotype: sand and rubble slope with scattered rock outcroppings, 107-116 m, quinaldine and hand net, R.L. Pyle and B.D. Greene , 25 April 2007 .

 

Diagnosis. Dorsal rays XIV,12-13 (usually 13); anal rays II,12-14 (usually 13); pectoral rays 18-19 (usually19); spiniform caudal rays 3; tubed lateral-line scales 14-16; gill rakers 6-7+17-18 (usually 7+18; total 24-25, usually 25); body depth 1.58-1.83 in SL; color when fresh dark gray with a large iridescent dark blue spot at center of each scale; membranes on median fins and pelvic fins opaque charcoal gray, with an iridescent dark blue margin on the spinous portion of the dorsal and anal fins; caudal fin mottled iridescent dark blue and black; pectoral fins with a black ovoid spot covering the basal portion and pectoral-fin axil.

 

Description. Dorsal rays XIV,13 (two paratypes with XIV,12); anal rays II,13 (II,12-14); all dorsal and anal rays branched, the last to base in some specimens; pectoral rays 19 (one paratype with 18), the upper 2 and lowermost unbranched; pelvic rays I,5; principal caudal rays 8+7=15; upper and lower procurrent caudal rays 5, the anterior 3 spiniform, the posterior 2 segmented and unbranched; tubed lateral-line scales 16|14 (14-16 except for one paratype with 11|15); posterior midlateral scales with a pore or deep pit 7|6 (5-8); scales above dorsal fin to origin of dorsal fin 3.5 (3-3.5); scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin 9 (9-10); gill rakers 7+18=25 (6-7+17-18=24-25), 6 gill rakers on upper limb of gill arch in one paratype , 17 gill rakers on lower limb of gill arch in one paratype ); surpaneural (predorsal) bones 3; vertebrae 12+13.

 

Body moderately deep, depth 1.73 (1.58-1.83) in SL, and compressed, the width 3.23 (2.65-3.56) in body depth; head length 3.01 (2.79-3.05) in SL; dorsal profile of head with slight convexity anterior to eye, slight concavity dorsal to eye, and slight convexity on nape; snout shorter than orbit diameter, its length 4.11 (4.00-5.74) in head length; orbit diameter 2.66 (2.28-2.90) in head length; interorbital space convex, its width 2.79 (2.59-2.92) in head length; caudal-peduncle depth 2.17 (2.15-2.59) in head; caudal-peduncle length 3.01 (3.34-4.39) in head.

 

Mouth terminal, small, oblique, the upper jaw forming an angle of about 40º to horizontal axis of head and body; posterior edge of maxilla reaching slightly beyond a vertical at anterior edge of pupil, the upper jaw length 3.57 (3.39-4.11) in head; an outer row of conical teeth in each jaw, largest anteriorly; about 27 upper and about 20 lower teeth on each side of jaw; a narrow band of villiform teeth lingual to outer row, in 2-3 irregular rows anteriorly, narrowing to a single row on side of jaws; tongue triangular with rounded tip; gill rakers long and slender, the longest on lower limb near angle about four-fifths length of longest gill filaments; nostril with a fleshy rim, more elevated on posterior edge and located at level of middle of pupil, slightly less than one-third distance from front of snout to base of upper lip.

 

Opercle ending posteriorly in a flat spine, the tip relatively obtuse and obscured by a large scale; margin of preopercle smooth, the posterior margin extending dorsally to level of upper edge of pupil; suborbital with free lower margin extending nearly to a vertical at posterior edge of pupil.

 

Scales finely ctenoid; anterior lateral line ending beneath rear portion of spinous dorsal fin (between 11th and 12th dorsal-fin spines); head scaled except lips, tip of snout, and a narrow zone from orbit to edge of snout containing nostrils; a scaly sheath at base of dorsal and anal fins, about two-thirds pupil diameter at base of middle of spinous portion of dorsal fin, progressively narrower on soft portion; a column of scales on each membrane of dorsal fin, narrowing distally, those on spinous portion of dorsal progressively longer, reaching about two-thirds distance to spine tips on posterior membranes; scales on anal-fin membrane in two columns, progressively smaller distally; small scales on caudal fin extending slightly more than two-thirds distance to posterior margin; small scales on basal one-fifth of pectoral fins; a median scaly process extending posteriorly from between base of pelvic fins, its length about half that of pelvic spine; axillary scale above base of pelvic spine about one-half length of spine. Origin of dorsal fin over second lateral-line scale, the pre-dorsal length 2.29 (2.24-2.54) in SL; base of spinous portion of dorsal fin contained 2.24 (2.02-2.39) in SL; base of soft portion of dorsal fin contained 5.75 (5.65-6.48) in SL; first dorsal spine 10.85 (7.78-11.01) in SL; second dorsal spine 6.64 (5.22-7.14) in SL; third dorsal spine 5.41 (4.53-5.42) in SL; fourth dorsal spine 5.00 (4.44-5.08) in SL; fifth dorsal spine 4.88 (4.39-5.05) in SL; sixth dorsal spine 4.90 (4.45-4.99) in SL; last dorsal spine 6.19 (6.11-7.40) in SL; membranes of spinous portion of dorsal fin moderately incised; fourth dorsal soft ray longest, sometimes with a filamentous extension, its length 4.39 (4.21-5.06) in SL; first anal spine 10.92 (8.76-11.13) in SL; second anal spine 4.03 (3.66-4.24) in SL; first anal soft ray the longest, its length 4.41 (4.15-4.62) in SL; caudal fin forked, without significant filamentous extensions, its length 2.89 (2.87-3.64) in SL, the caudal concavity 5.83 (4.54-8.00) in SL; fourth pectoral-fin ray longest, 2.77 (2.65-3.08) in SL; pelvic spine 5.20 (4.95-5.67) in SL; first soft ray of pelvic fin filamentous, usually reaching to first through third anal-fin ray (when not broken or damaged), its length 2.86 (2.54-4.03) in SL.

 

Color of adults and juveniles when fresh predominantly charcoal gray, a large iridescent dark blue spot at center of each scale (including scales on head and median fins), blue spots occupying about half of visible area of each scale on body, decreasing in size slightly towards abdomen and ventral portion of body, blue spots forming a near-continuous line along base of dorsal and anal fins, a vertical column of scales with iridescent dark blue spots extending dorsally on each interspinous membrane of dorsal fin, blue spots on scales covering soft portions of dorsal and anal fins varying in size, forming a mottled pattern of blue and black; membranes on median fins and pelvic fins opaque charcoal gray, with an iridescent dark blue margin on spinous portion of the dorsal fin, and a broad iridescent dark blue margin on the anal fin; caudal fin mottled iridescent dark blue and black; pelvic-fin spine entirely iridescent dark blue, an iridescent dark blue streak on the pelvic-fin soft rays, the filamentous extension on the pelvic fin white; pectoral fins translucent charcoal gray with a ovoid black spot on base and axil; iris charcoal gray to black; iridescent blue fleshy orbit margin.

 

Color in alcohol similar to general color pattern when fresh, except charcoal gray pigment sometimes fades to brownish gray, and iridescent dark blue is either faded to pale gray blue, or has disappeared altogether (leaving the specimen uniform brownish gray, or sometimes charcoal gray overall).

 

Distribution. Only collected from the type locality; also observed at similar depths at Augulpelu Reef in Palau . An individual of what appears to be this species was observed and photographed by Mr. Forrest Young at 120-150 m near Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia .

 

Etymology. Named abyssus , a Latinized form of the Greek noun abyssos (meaning "abyss"), to honor the documentary film Pacific Abyss, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which funded the expedition on which the type specimens were collected. The vernacular name "Deep Blue Chromis ", a reference to both the life color of this species and the relatively (within the context of the genus) deep-dwelling habits, is suggested instead of the more literally translated "Abyss Chromis ", so as not to imply that the species inhabits depths commonly defined as "abyssal".

 

Remarks. This species was first observed by the senior author on May 10, 1997 , during a mixed-gas rebreather dive to 120 m on the east side of Augulpelu Reef; Palau ( 07º 16.41' N , 134º 31.44' E ). It was later observed at the same reef at depths of 117-139 m from a submersible by Patrick L. Colin and Lori J. Bell in February -March, 2001. In April 2005 , Mr. Forrest Young and colleagues observed several individuals of this (or a very similar) species during mixed-gas rebreather dives at depths of 120-150 m at Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia. The type specimens included herein are the first of this species to be collected.

 

From these observations, C. abyssus appears to prefer depths in excess of 115 m, staying close to the substratum among boulders and rock outcroppings, where it takes refuge in small caves and holes. Juveniles and some subadults were also observed around limestone talus. Adults were usually observed singly or in pairs, while subadults and juveniles were seen in small groups. All type specimens were collected in the same general area, where the species is not uncommon. Other Chromis observed in the vicinity include three of the new species described herein ( C. brevirostris,C. degruyi , and C. earina ).

 

Chromis abyssus is not obviously allied with any other known species of the genus. It shares some similarities with a group of seven Indo-Pacific deep-dwelling Chromis species, characterized by a similar stout body shape, a large eye, and usually XIV dorsal spines. In their 1985 description of C. abyssicola, Allen and Randall noted a complex of deep-dwelling Chromis species distinguished by, among other characters, 19 or 20 pectoral rays, and 28-34 gill rakers. In addition to C. abyssicola , their complex included C. megalopsis 78 Allen 1976 (now regarded as a junior synonym of C. mirationis Tanaka 1917), C. mirationis Tanaka 1917 and C. struhsakeri Randall and Swerdloff 1973, to which we would add the subsequently named C. planesi 79 Lecchini and Williams 2004. C. abyssus has fewer pectoral rays (18 or 19) and fewer gill rakers (24-28) than members of this species complex, and may comprise a second grouping of deep-dwelling Chromis species, along with C. okamuri Yamakawa and Randall 1989 from Japan, the East African C. woodsi 80 Bruner and Arnam 1979 (both easily distinguished from C. abyssus on the basis of color and certain morphological characters such as number of gill rakers and tubed lateral-line scales), as well as the two new speciesC. circumaurea and C. degruyi , both described herein. Of the remaining two deep-dwelling Indo-Pacific stout-bodied Chromis species with XIV spines, C. onumai Senou and Kudo 2007 has the high pectoral-ray count of the first complex (19-20) and the gill-raker count of the second (25-27). C. axillaris 81 (Bennett 1831) has a wide gillraker range (26-30) and cannot easily be placed in either complex by this character. Of the three new Chromis with XIV dorsal-fin spines described herein (C. abyssus, C. circumaurea, and C. degruyi ), each has a unique and distinctive color pattern, and is readily distinguished from the others. Among the three, the former two ( C. abyssus and C. circumaurea ) share the most similarities both in terms of morphology and in Barcode DNA sequence data.

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Formal Description

Dorsal rays XIV,13 (two paratypes with XIV,12); anal rays II,13 (II,12–14); all dorsal and anal rays branched, the last to base in some specimens; pectoral rays 19 (one paratype with 18), the upper 2 and lowermost unbranched; pelvic rays I,5; principal caudal rays 8+7=15; upper and lower procurrent caudal rays 5, the anterior 3 spiniform, the posterior 2 segmented and unbranched; tubed lateral-line scales 16|14 (14–16 except for one paratype with 11|15); posterior midlateral scales with a pore or deep pit 7|6 (5–8); scales above dorsal fin to origin of dorsal fin 3.5 (3–3.5); scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin 9 (9–10); gill rakers 7+18=25 (6–7+17–18=24–25), 6 gill rakers on upper limb of gill arch in one paratype, 17 gill rakers on lower limb of gill arch in one paratype); surpaneural (predorsal) bones 3; vertebrae 12+13.Body moderately deep, depth 1.73 (1.58–1.83) in SL, and compressed, the width 3.23 (2.65–3.56) in body depth; head length 3.01 (2.79–3.05) in SL; dorsal profile of head with slight convexity anterior to eye, slight concavity dorsal to eye, and slight convexity on nape; snout shorter than orbit diameter, its length 4.11 (4.00–5.74) in head length; orbit diameter 2.66 (2.28–2.90) in head length; interorbital space convex, its width 2.79 (2.59–2.92) in head length; caudal-peduncle depth 2.17 (2.15–2.59) in head; caudal-peduncle length 3.01 (3.34–4.39) in head. Mouth terminal, small, oblique, the upper jaw forming an angle of about 40º to horizontal axis of head and body; posterior edge of maxilla reaching slightly beyond a vertical at anterior edge of pupil, the upper jaw length 3.57 (3.39–4.11) in head; an outer row of conical teeth in each jaw, largest anteriorly; about 27 upper and about 20 lower teeth on each side of jaw; a narrow band of villiform teeth lingual to outer row, in 2–3 irregular rows anteriorly, narrowing to a single row on side of jaws; tongue triangular with rounded tip; gill rakers long and slender, the longest on lower limb near angle about four-fifths length of longest gill filaments; nostril with a fleshy rim, more elevated on posterior edge and located at level of middle of pupil, slightly less than one-third distance from front of snout to base of upper lip. Opercle ending posteriorly in a flat spine, the tip relatively obtuse and obscured by a large scale; margin of preopercle smooth, the posterior margin extending dorsally to level of upper edge of pupil; suborbital with free lower margin extending nearly to a vertical at posterior edge of pupil. Scales finely ctenoid; anterior lateral line ending beneath rear portion of spinous dorsal fin (between 11th and 12th dorsal-fin spines); head scaled except lips, tip of snout, and a narrow zone from orbit to edge of snout containing nostrils; a scaly sheath at base of dorsal and anal fins, about two-thirds pupil diameter at base of middle of spinous portion of dorsal fin, progressively narrower on soft portion; a column of scales on each membrane of dorsal fin, narrowing distally, those on spinous portion of dorsal progressively longer, reaching about two-thirds distance to spine tips on posterior membranes; scales on anal-fin membrane in two columns, progressively smaller distally; small scales on caudal fin extending slightly more than two-thirds distance to posterior margin; small scales on basal one-fifth of pectoral fins; a median scaly process extending posteriorly from between base of pelvic fins, its length about half that of pelvic spine; axillary scale above base of pelvic spine about one-half length of spine. Origin of dorsal fin over second lateral-line scale, the pre-dorsal length 2.29 (2.24–2.54) in SL; base of spinous portion of dorsal fin contained 2.24 (2.02–2.39) in SL; base of soft portion of dorsal fin contained 5.75 (5.65–6.48) in SL; first dorsal spine 10.85 (7.78–11.01) in SL; second dor-sal spine 6.64 (5.22–7.14) in SL; third dorsal spine 5.41 (4.53–5.42) in SL; fourth dorsal spine 5.00 (4.44–5.08) in SL; fifth dorsal spine 4.88 (4.39–5.05) in SL; sixth dorsal spine 4.90 (4.45–4.99) in SL; last dorsal spine 6.19 (6.11–7.40) in SL; membranes of spinous portion of dorsal fin moderately incised; fourth dorsal soft ray longest, sometimes with a filamentous extension, its length 4.39 (4.21–5.06) in SL; first anal spine 10.92 (8.76–11.13) in SL; second anal spine 4.03 (3.66–4.24) in SL; first anal soft ray the longest, its length 4.41 (4.15–4.62) in SL; caudal fin forked, without significant filamentous extensions, its length 2.89 (2.87–3.64) in SL, the caudal concavity 5.83 (4.54–8.00) in SL; fourth pectoral-fin ray longest, 2.77 (2.65–3.08) in SL; pelvic spine 5.20 (4.95–5.67) in SL; first soft ray of pelvic fin filamentous, usually reach-ing to first through third anal-fin ray (when not broken or damaged), its length 2.86 (2.54–4.03) in SL. Color of adults and juveniles when fresh predominantly charcoal gray, a large iridescent dark blue spot at center of each scale (including scales on head and median fins), blue spots occupying about half of visible area of each scale on body, decreasing in size slightly towards abdomen and ventral portion of body, blue spots forming a near-continuous line along base of dorsal and anal fins, a vertical column of scales with irides-cent dark blue spots extending dorsally on each interspinous membrane of dorsal fin, blue spots on scales cov-ering soft portions of dorsal and anal fins varying in size, forming a mottled pattern of blue and black; membranes on median fins and pelvic fins opaque charcoal gray, with an iridescent dark blue margin on spinous portion of the dorsal fin, and a broad iridescent dark blue margin on the anal fin; caudal fin mottled iridescent dark blue and black; pelvic-fin spine entirely iridescent dark blue, an iridescent dark blue streak on the pelvic-fin soft rays, the filamentous extension on the pelvic fin white; pectoral fins translucent charcoal gray with a ovoid black spot on base and axil; iris charcoal gray to black; iridescent blue fleshy orbit margin. Color in alcohol similar to general color pattern when fresh, except charcoal gray pigment sometimes fades to brownish gray, and iridescent dark blue is either faded to pale gray blue, or has disappeared altogether (leaving the specimen uniform brownish gray, or sometimes charcoal gray overall).

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Type Information

Paratype for Chromis abyssus Pyle et al.
Catalog Number: USNM 391136
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): R. Pyle & B. Greene
Year Collected: 2007
Locality: Palau (Belau) Islands; off Ngemlis Island; below and slightly to the N of the Blue Holes cave system., Palau Islands, Palau, Pacific
Depth (m): 107 to 116
  • Paratype: Pyle, R. L., et al. 1 Jan 2008. Zootaxa. 1671: 6, Figs. 1a-1c.
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 107 - 139 m (Ref. 59379)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 110 - 110
  Temperature range (°C): 23.061 - 23.061
  Nitrate (umol/L): 4.047 - 4.047
  Salinity (PPS): 34.754 - 34.754
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.888 - 3.888
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.466 - 0.466
  Silicate (umol/l): 4.910 - 4.910
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Inhabits depths usually in excess of 115 m, staying close to the substratum among boulders and rock outcroppings, where it takes refuge in small caves and holes. Juveniles and some subadults were also observed around limestone talus. Adults were usually observed singly or in pairs, while subadults and juveniles were seen in small groups.

Richard L. Pyle

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General Ecology

Ecosystem Role

Likely feeds on plankton.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate (Ref. 205). Males guard and aerate the eggs (Ref. 205).
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Reproduction

Reproduction and Life History

Nothing is known about the reporudicion and life history of this species, though it is expected to be similar to other members of the genus.

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Evolution and Systematics

Systematics or Phylogenetics

Classification

Classification for this species is stable and uncontroversial.

Richard L. Pyle

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Chromis abyssus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 9 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

GGTGCTTGAGCCGGAATAGTAGGCACAGCATTG---AGCCTCCTTATTCGGGCAGAATTAAGCCAACCAGGCGCTCTCCTCGGAGAC---GACCAAATTTACAACGTCATCGTTACGGCACACGCCTTTGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATGCCAATTATAATTGGAGGATTTGGAAACTGACTTATTCCCCTCATG---ATTGGAGCCCCCGACATGGCATTCCCTCGAATGAATAATATAAGCTTCTGACTTTTACCCCCTTCCTTCCTACTTCTGCTCGCTTCCTCTGGTGTTGAAGCAGGTGCAGGCACAGGATGAACTGTTTACCCCCCTTTATCAGGGAACCTAGCACACGCGGGAGCCTCCGTAGACTTA---ACCATCTTCTCTCTCCATTTAGCAGGTATTTCCTCAATCCTGGGAGCTATTAACTTCATTACTACTATTATTAACATAAAACCCCCTGCCATTTCCCAGTACCAAACTCCCCTGTTTGTATGAGCAGTTCTAATTACCGCTGTACTTCTCCTTCTATCCCTTCCAGTTTTAGCTGCT---GGCATCACTATGCTTTTAACTGATCGCAACCTAAACACCACATTCTTCGACCCTGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCAATTCTTTACCAACATCTA
-- end --

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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chromis abyssus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 18
Specimens with Barcodes: 18
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Sequences of all type specimens have been deposited at GenBank and at the Barcode of Life repositories. Barcodes indicate a very close affinity with Chromis circumaurea Pyle, Earle & Greene (2008). Luiz A. Rocha of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology is planning to lead a comprehnsive review of the genus using molecular data.

Zootaxa

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Conservation

No known threats; although little is known of the general vulnerabilities of the deep-reef habitat in general.

Zootaxa

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Threats

Not Evaluated
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© FishBase

Source: FishBase

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How to Grow

Several live individuals brought to the surface did not survive well. Likely requires cool water temperatures and strong aeration to survive in captivity.

Richard L. Pyle

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Wikipedia

Chromis abyssus

Chromis abyssus is a species of Chromis first discovered in 1997 and described in 2008.[1] The 8-centimetre (3.1 in) long fish only lives more than 110 metres (361 ft) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean around the coast of the Ngemelis Islands, Palau. Adults have been observed living singly or in pairs whereas juveniles tend to live in groups.[1]

ZooBank[edit]

Chromis abyssus was the first species entered into the ZooBank registry with a timestamp of 2008-01-01T00:00:02, and it was selected as one of "The Top 10 New Species" described in 2008 by The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists.[2][3][4]

Etymology[edit]

Named abyssus, a Latinised form of the Greek noun abyssos (meaning "abyss"), to honour the documentary film Pacific Abyss, produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation, which funded the expedition on which the type specimens were collected. The vernacular name "deep blue Chromis", a reference to both the life colour of this species and the relatively (within the context of the genus) deep-dwelling habits, is suggested instead of the more literally translated "abyss Chromis", so as not to imply that the species inhabits depths commonly defined as abyssal.[1]

References[edit]

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References and More Information

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