Comprehensive Description

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Neoarius ZBK Castelnau, 1878

(fig. 66)

Neoarius ZBK Castelnau, 1878: 237. Type species: Arius curtisii ZBK Castelnau, 1878. Type by monotypy. Gender: masculine.

Diagnosis. The species of Neoarius ZBK can be differentiated from all other genera of Ariidae by the combination of two shared characters: (1) lateral face of third pharyngobranchial conspicuous and acute (shared with Arius ZBK , Brustiarius ZBK , Nedystoma ZBK , Netuma , Plicofollis ZBK and Potamosilurus ); (2) anterior process of first pharyngobranchial on the central part of this bone (shared with Netuma ).

Supplementary morphological characters. Cephalic shield granulated visible under the skin; lateral ethmoid and frontal bones limiting a moderately large fenestra visible under the skin; medial groove of neurocranium very distinct, limited by frontal bones and/or supraoccipital; posterior cranial fontanel moderately developed long and narrow; fenestra limited by supraoccipital, pterotic and sphenotic absent; fossa limited by pterotic, supracleithrum and extrascapular relatively large; epioccipital not invading dorsal portion of cephalic shield; occipital process triangular, moderately long and wide, progressively narrower toward its posterior part; anterior and median nuchal plates fused and indistinct, forming a structure of semi-lunar aspect; tooth plates associated with vomer round; accessory tooth plates narrow, transversely elongate, bearing conical teeth; maxillary barbel fleshy and cylindrical; two pairs of mental barbels; base of adipose fin moderately long, about half as long as anal-fin base; lateral line not bifurcated at caudal region, reaching base of caudalfin upper lobe; cleithrum wide, with second dorsal process on its upper portion; posterior cleithral process of moderate size, distinct from second dorsal process of cleithrum.

Remarks. N. augustus (Roberts, 1978), N. berneyi (Whitley, 1941) and N. pectoralis (Kailola, 2004) were included on the basis of the supplementary morphological characters observed in specimens preserved in alcohol or described in the literature.

Distribution and habitat. Southern New Guinea and Australia, marine, brackish and fresh waters.


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