Sunday, September 7, 2014

[Ichthyology • 2014] Torquigener albomaculosus • A New Pufferfish of the Genus Torquigener (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae) that builds “Mystery Circles” on Sandy Bottoms in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan


Torquigener albomaculosus Matsuura, 2014


Abstract
Torquigener albomaculosus sp. nov. is described based on two specimens collected from sandy bottoms at depths of 15 and 18 m along the south coast of Amami-oshima Island in the Ryukyu Islands. This new species is distinguished from all other species of Torquigener by the following unique combination of characters: dorsal-fin rays 9 (10); anal-fin rays 6; pectoral-fin rays 16 (dorsalmost ray nubbin-like and rudimentary); vertebrae 8 + 11 = 19; no solid, dark, longitudinal stripe nor longitudinal rows of dark spots on the mid-side of body from behind pectoral fin to caudal-fin base; no vertical markings on cheek; dorsal half of head and body covered with fine brown reticulations and many white spots; ventral half of head and body silvery white covered by many white spots from chin to above anal-fin origin; dorsal rim of eye light yellow; and many two-rooted spinules on head and body. Males of T. albomaculosus build unique circles as spawning nests, these being 2 m in diameter on sandy bottoms at depths from 10 to 30 m at Amami-oshima Island.

Keywords: New pufferfish, Torquigener, Tetraodontiformes, mystery circles, Ryukyu Islands


Keiichi Matsuura. 2014. A New Pufferfish of the Genus Torquigener that builds “Mystery Circles” on Sandy Bottoms in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan (Actinopterygii: Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae). Ichthyological Research. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10228-014-0428-5

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