Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
DESCRIPTION. Dorsal rays X,12; anal rays III,6; pectoral rays 14, the uppermost and lower 6 unbranched; lateral-line scales 42-45; 4 rows of large scales above lateral line in middle of body; 9 large scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin; small scales on cheek in more than 13 oblique rows; about outer fourth of preopercle naked, crossed by irregular sensory channels; no scales in interorbital space or on snout; scales ventrally on thorax extremely small (as small as smallest on cheek); gill rakers 5-7 + 10-12; supraorbital ridge moderately high, not continuing posterior to eye, the hind edge slightly hooked in large adults, followed by a few serrae; about one-fourth of eye extending above dorsal profile of head; lower opercular spine acute, forming an angle of about 60°; upper half of preopercular margin and exposed end of posttemporal finely serrate; mouth slightly oblique and small, the maxilla just reaching a vertical at front edge of orbit; dentition typical of the family; about 12 cirri on posterior flap of anterior nostril; body depth 3.1-3.3 in SL; head length 2.6-2.8 in SL; snout length 2.6-2.8 in head; orbit diameter 4.4-5.3 in head; bony interorbital width 6.5-7.45 in head; fourth to sixth dorsal spines longest, 2.5-2.7 in head; a tuft of cirri from membrane near tip of each dorsal spine; second anal spine 1.8-1.9 in head; caudal fin truncate to slightly emarginate; pectoral fins nearly as long as head, the longest rays reaching or extending beyond a vertical at origin of anal fin; pelvic fins extending beyond anus; body white with five faint gray bars, the posterior three as double bars, their upper part black, the third and fourth extending basally into dorsal fin; scattered black spots of about pupil size posteriorly on body and in caudal fin, those on body mainly in dark bars, those in caudal fin mostly forming curved bands; spots anteriorly on body and postorbital head red with black edges, most joined to form short bands; close-set, darkedged, red spots smaller than pupil on snout and head below eye.
TYPE LOCALITY. Lord Howe Island.
ETYMOLOGY. Noto from the Greek for south, in combination with Cirrhitus , in reference to the southern location of the type species (New South Wales to Kermadec Islands).
REMARKS. Notocirrhitus ZBK differs from Cirrhitus in the following characters: three supraneural bones ending in space before second neural spine (two in Cirrhitus ); well developed supraorbital ridge, resulting in a deeply concave interorbital space (low surpaorbital ridge in Cirrhitus , and interorbital space slightly concave); about one-fourth of eye extending above dorsal profile of head (eye not extending above profile in Cirrhitus ); extremely small scales ventrally on chest; more elongate body, longer and more pointed snout; mouth ending below front of orbit (to or beyond middle of eye in Cirrhitus ); longer pectoral fins, longer dorsal spines, and first dorsal soft ray prolonged. Notocirrhitus ZBK is distinguished from Itycirrhitus ZBK in the key.
Francis (1993) recorded Notocirrhitus splendens from Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, Kermadec Islands, and southeastern Australia. Allen et al. (1976) wrote that this species occurs outside the lagoon at Lord Howe Island in from 5 to 30 m.
MATERIAL EXAMINED. LORD HOWE ISLAND : AMS I.3182 , 171 mm ; AMS I.5687 , 182 mm ; AMS 5688 , 145 mm ; AMS 6656 , 140 mm ; AMS 13679 , 163 mm ; AMS 13889 , 159 mm ; BMNH 19188.8.131.52 , 161 mm ; BPBM 14739 , 90 mm ; BPBM 14765 , 149 mm .