Comprehensive Description

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Apogon brevispinis ZBK new species

(Figures 1A, 2A & Table 1).

Holotype : BPBM 13723 ; 35.1 mm SL; Austral Is. , Rurutu, west side off Areva ; 22 Feb 1971 ; 46-58 m ; collected by J. Randall, D. Cannoy, D. Devaney, R. McNair and J. Haywood ; x-ray .

Paratype : USNM371776 ; 62mm+ (damaged); same data as holotype; x-ray .

Other material: Rangiroa ; 9 Apr 1971 ; 53 m ; ~ 32-mm SL; color slide; lost specimen .

Comparative material: Amia angustata ZBK Holotype USNM 68399 (66.8mm SL); Philippine Is., Malanipes I., east Zamboanga; x-ray. Apogon angustatusCAS 56542 (2 specimens, 27-44mm SL); Solomon Is., Santa Ana I.; 1 Apr 1985 . USNM350510 (9); Vanuatu, Epi I., 16°47'13"S168°21'36"E ; JTW 96-46; 16 Jun 1996 ; 1-10m. USNM341663 (1); Tonga Is., Vava'u Group, Ovaka I., 18°44'31"S174°6'36"W ; JTW 93-42; 17 Nov 1993 ; 0.1-10m. USNM 334426 (1); Tonga Is., Tongatapu Group, Atata I., 21°1'10"S125°13'40"W ; JTW 93-10; 28 Oct 1993 ; 10-20m. USNM341662 (1); Tonga Is., Vava'u Group, Nuku I., 18°42'54"S174°2'36"W ; JTW 93-48; 19 Nov 1993 ; 1-3m. USNM 224630 (2); Caroline Is., Ponape, 7°35'N158°11'50"E ; VGS 80-8; 8 Sep 1980 ; 0.1-15m. CAS 84148 (6, 19-54); Line Is., Kiritimati Atoll, 1°55'45"N , 157°;28'15"W; GVF 51; 26 Aug 1951 . USNM 325626 (10); Samoa, Tutuila I.; 20 Nov 1975 ; 20m. CAS 80789 (5, 33-48); American Samoa, Tutuila I.; 1 Aug 1990 ; CAS 80822 (48-62); American Samoa, Tutuila I.; 3 Aug 1990 . Apogon nigrofasciatus ZBK Holotype USNM 142230 (58); Marshall Is., Bikini Atoll, Yuroch I., 13 Jul 1946 ; x-ray. Palau Is: BPBM 7423 (1, 60); Babelthaup I.; 29 Sep 1966 . BPBM 9808 (2, 43-47); Ngemelis I.; 23 Apr 1970 . CAS 56569 (2, 34-43); New Guinea, Louisaide Arch.; 4 Apr 1985 . USNM341717 (14, 15-67); USNM 212730 (5, 44- 55); Marshall Is., Taka Atoll; Oct 22 1964 ; 0-9m; x-rayed. Tonga Is., Ha'apai Group, Uoleva I., 19°51'36"S174°25'06"W ; 11 Nov 1993 ; JTW 93-28; 0.3-2m. USNM 167315 (2, 40-48); Gilbert Is., Onotoa. USNM 346982 (2, 45-51); Vanuatu, Erromango, 18°56'34"S168°59'34"E ; JTW 96-8; 26 May 1996 ; 27-30m. USNM 346983 (2, 46-53); Vanuatu, 18°49'39"S169°00'23"E ; JTW 96-6; 25 May 1996 ; 10-15m. USNM 358449 (1, 48); Vanuatu, Epi I., 16°35'34"S168°09'25"E ; JTW 96-42; 15 Jun 1996 ; 14-24m. USNM 212749 (2, 45-46); Society Is., Tahiti; 3 May 1957 . Apogon novemfasciatus ZBK CAS 30751 (1, 37); Samoa, Pago Pago; 14 Nov 1946 . CAS 43327 (12, 36-63); Marshall Is., Enewetak Atoll; 23 Feb 1974 . CAS 53323 8 (36-51); Philippines, Luzon I., Layia; 29 Jun 1948 . CAS 84107 (39,21-73); Pulau, 13°22'36"N , 144°38'53"E ; GVF 1840; 12 Oct 1958 . CAS 84139 3 (46-64); Guam, 13°28'42"N , 144°45'04"E ; GVF 1854; 25 Jan 1959 . CAS 84149 (22, 34- 65); Yap Is., Gagil I., 9°30'26"N , 138°10'20"E ; GVF 1919; 24 Dec 1959 . CAS 84188 (5, 37-50); Fiji, Viti Levu I., 18°13'10"S , 177°43'12"E ; GVF 2010; 9 Aug 1959 . CAS 209954 (3, 53-61); Fiji, Viti Levu I., 30 May 1999 . Apogon relativus ZBK BPBM 11699 (1, 72); Fatu Hiva, Marquesas Is.; 19 Apr 1971 . USNM 359800 (8, 27-74); Marquesas Is.; 9 Sep 1956 . CAS 124514 (1, 80); Nuka Hiva Island; 7 Feb 1929 . Apogon sinus ZBK BPBM 12811 (1, 69); Marquesas Is.; 19 May 1971 ; BPBM 10356 (2, 81-85); Marquesas Is.; 27 Nov 1955 ; CAS211006 (2, 43-56); Marquesas Is.; 25 Apr 1971 ; USNM 359801 (2, 50-66); Marquesas Is.; Apogon taeniophorus ZBK Syntypes BMNH 1908.3.23.90-92 (3, 42-75); Maldives. USNM341782 (8); Tonga Is., Vava'u Group, Nuku I., 18°42'54"S174°2'36"W ; JTW 93-48; 19 Nov 1993 ; 1-3m. USNM 346986 (11); Vanuatu, Erromango, 18°49'39"S169°00'23"E ; JTW 96-7; 25- 26 May 1996 ; 1m. USNM 212706 (2); Howland I.; F-26; 11 Oct 1963 . USNM 212707 (1); Howland I., F-140; 12 Feb 1964 . USNM 212699 (1); Line Is. Fanning, I.; 3 Jul 1965 . USNM 262326 (7); Fiji Is., Kandavu I., 18°57'S178°17'E ; VGS 82-21; 11 May 1982 ; 2m.

Diagnosis. A species of Apogon (Ostorhinchus) with alternating golden-brown and white stripes on head and body in life, white stripe extending onto last two anal rays; irregular darkish caudal peduncle mark; tiny first dorsal-fin spine, 5-8% of third dorsal spine length; 14 circumpeduncular scales; slightly elongated last dorsal and anal rays; 18-19 well developed gill rakers on first arch.

Description. For general body shape see Figs. 1A and 2A. Following proportions are percent standard length, Holotype: greatest body depth 37.0; head length 40.5; eye diameter14.5; snout length 9.1; bony interorbital width 7.7; upper- jaw length 21.1; caudal peduncle depth 15.9; caudal peduncle length 25.4; first dorsal-fin spine length 2.0; second dorsal-fin spine length 11.1; third dorsal-fin spine length 25.1; fourth dorsal-fin spine length 21.6; spine in second dorsal fin 18.5; first anal-fin spine length 3.4; second anal-fin spine length 17.1; pectoral-fin length 27.1; pelvic-fin length 25.1. First dorsal-fin spine length 7.9 % of third dorsal-spine length (paratype 4.8%).

Dorsal fin VII-I,9 with tiny first spine and third spine much thicker than second or fourth, last soft ray as long as preceding ray; anal fin II,8, with last anal fin-ray longer than preceding ray; pectoral fin 14-14; pelvic fin I,5; principal caudal rays 9 + 8; pored lateral line scales 24; transverse scale rows above lateral line 2; transverse scale rows below lateral line 6; median predorsal scales 5; circumpeduncular scale rows 14 (5 + 2 + 7).

Teeth villiform, in several rows on the premaxilla; 2-3 rows becoming 1 row on side of dentary; 1-2 long rows on the palatine; 1 row on vomer; none on ectopterygoid, endopterygoid or basihyal. Rudiments and gill rakers on first arch (Table 1), 3 rudiments and 3 gill rakers on upper arch, 2 rudiments and 15 gill rakers on lower arch of holotype, 3 rudiments and 3 gill rakers on upper arch, 1 rudiment and 16 gill rakers on lower arch of paratype, total gill rakers and rudiments 23. Second arch with 2 rudiments and 16 short rakers.

Vertebrae 10 + 14. Five free hypurals, 1 pair of slender uroneurals, 3 epurals, a free parhypural. Three supraneurals, 2 supernumerary spines on first dorsal pterygiophore. Basisphenoid present. Supramaxilla absent. Posttemporal serrate (3-5) on posterior margin. Preopercle ridge smooth, edges serrate on posterior and ventral margins. Infraorbital edge smooth.

Scales on head, breast, nape and body ctenoid, pored lateral-line scales from posttemporal to base of hypural. Central pore canal on lateral-line scale with 2-3 pores on dorsal side, simple below with 1 pore. Ten pores around mouth (Figure 3); 3 bilateral pores above premaxilla, 1 below anterior nasal area along ventral edge of crease, 2 on ventral edge of lachrymal; 2 bilateral pores on dentary near symphysis, 1 mid-anterior, 1 ventral.

Life colors. From a color slide of a lost specimen (Figure 1A) about 32 mm SL taken at Rangiroa. Head and body with about 5 tannish-brown stripes alternating with 5 white stripes; first white stripe from nape at base of first dorsal fin (not clearly visible), extending to anterior base of second dorsal fin; second white stripe extending from nape along side onto dorsal side of caudal peduncle reaching procurrent caudal rays; third white stripe extending from behind dorsal portion of eye along body to last caudal base scale just above pored lateral line; fourth white stripe begins on upper lip, onto snout, then from behind ventral portion of eye along body to last caudal base scale just above pored lateral line; fifth white stripe begins on lower portion of upper jaw, not reaching lower jaw, extending below pectoral-fin base onto base of anal fin at the fifth-sixth ray reaching tip of last anal ray; tannish-brown stripes wider than white stripes, tannish-brown stripes 2 and 4 from head, snout, and upper jaw on side extend past darker caudal base onto caudal-fin rays; ventral tannish-brown stripe from lower jaw reaching to anterior base of anal fin. Iris whitish. First dorsal membranes darkish; darkish stripes on second dorsal and anal fins, both fins with whitish bases on the preceding 3-4 rays reaching to the tips of the last rays. Melanophores concentrated near the base of caudal fin without the form of a simple bar or spot; other similar concentrations of melanophores in second and third tannish-brown stripes.

Color in alcohol. Holotype (Figure 2A) with stripe of faint melanophores on body behind eye reaching to anterior part of caudal peduncle, second faint stripe on side of abdomen reaching to level of origin of anal fin, no other markings present on head, body otherwise pale; broad diffuse stripe in second dorsal fin with pale area below; stripe in anal fin rays at body anteriorly angled posteriorly to cover outer half of last 2 rays with pale area basally; all other fins pale. Paratype with uniform color on snout and nape, a band of few melanophores on cheek extending onto base of pectoral fin and then onto the abdomen reaching to about the posterior origin of the anal fin, another grouping of melanophores from the midline behind eye onto opercle and side of body, then fading out prior to posterior origin of anal fin, darkish stripe in the second dorsal fin pale above and below, darkish stripe in anal fin beginning at base of anal fin extending to tip of last 2 anal rays, pale above and below beginning about fourth anal ray, pelvic fin pale, dorsal fin pale. Peritoneum pale, holotype (but not paratype) with scattered melanophores; stomach and intestine blackish.

Distribution. Known from Rurutu Island in the Austral Islands and Rangiroa in the Tuamoto Archipelago.

Etymology. From the latin words brevis for short and spina for thorn, referring to the tiny first dorsal spine, as brevispinis.

Habitat. These specimens were collected on a 45°E coral slope with very little sand. The lack of additional material suggests that this species may usually live below the typical access of SCUBA gear assisted collections.

Remarks. Color patterns, gill raker and pectoral-fin ray counts, and shape of anal fin are used to help determine phenetic relationships within the subgenus Ostorhinchus . Apogon brevispinus ZBK is distinguished by its higher gill-raker counts (Table 1) from other dark-striped Apogon ZBK , except A. nigrofasciatus Lachner ZBK , 1953. In life, the dark stripes are blackish in A. nigrofasciatus ZBK and brownish in A. brevispinis ZBK . The last soft anal ray is slightly elongated, similar to the more elongated last anal ray of the very closely related Apogon angustatus (Smith & Radcliffe in Radcliffe, 1911), and Apogon relativus Randall ZBK , 2001, and to Apogon novemfasciatus Cuvier ZBK in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1828. A whitish stripe extending onto the last 1 or 2 soft rays of the dorsal and anal fins may also be of use in grouping the above species as well as Apogon cookii Macleay ZBK , 1881, and Apogon taeniophorus Regan ZBK ,1908. The whitish stripes are absent in the soft dorsal and anal fins of Apogon sinus Randall ZBK ,2001. Randall & Lachner (1986) discussed distinguishing characteristics of a number of similar looking dark-striped species as part of their redescription of Apogon nigrofasciatus ZBK that have both sets of characteristics.

The tiny, easily overlooked, first dorsal spine present in Apogon brevispinis ZBK is similar to the tiny first dorsal spine in Apogon fasciatus Shaw ZBK in White, 1790, a species with a much different color pattern. Some species of the Apogon cyanosoma complex ZBK with generally yellowish stripes, which are very faint or lacking in preserved material, also have an elongated anal-fin ray.


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