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Echiodon atopus Anderson, 2005 ZBK

A single specimen of a previously undescribed pearlfish was taken just north of Inaccessible Island. At first identified as a rather northerly specimen of the widespread, austral Echiodon cryomargarites Markle, Williams & Olney, 1983 ZBK , it differs from that species in its much higher precaudal vertebral and D30 counts, fewer anal-fin rays anterior to the dorsal-fin origin and fewer pectoral fin rays (Markle et al. 1983; Markle and Olney 1990; Anderson 2005). It appears closer to the single known specimen of E. neotes ZBK but differs in having no vexillum, more precaudal vertebrae, more dorsal rays anterior to vertebra 31 and possibly fewer pectoral rays.

Counts: PCV 38; D30 46; A30 46; P 18; ARDO 7; DRAO 0; MAO 7; MDO 8; VAO 6; VDO 8. Head pores: mandibular 5; preopercular 2; infraorbital 8; supratemporal 2; supraorbital 5; lateral 3. Proportions as percent HL: body depth 48.8; bony interorbital width 13.7; eye diameter 20.3; head depth 48.8; head width 34.3; lower jaw length 52.0; upper jaw length 46.4; prepectoral length 96.4; preanal length 118.1; predorsal length 129.3; pectoral fin length 65.2; snout length 17.0; distance snout to anus 111.8. Posterior swim bladder tunic ridge ventral. Vomer with 3 moderate canines surrounded by 15 much smaller teeth. Single canine on each side in premaxilla; dentaries with two canines each.

Material: USNM 380406 ( holotype , male, 176 mm SL); sta. 91/OT 60; 37°16.1'S , 12° 42.2'W ; 30 ft. otter trawl; 0-139 m; 19:49-20:06 hrs; 9 July 2004 .


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