Sunday, May 21, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Altrichthys alelia • A New Brooding Damselfish (Perciformes, Pomacentridae) from Busuanga Island, Philippines

Altrichthys alelia 
Bernardi, Longo & Quiros, 2017 

DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.675.12061 


A new species of damselfish, Altrichthys alelia sp. n. is described from specimens collected in shallow water (1–8m depth) off Busuanga Island, Palawan Province, Philippines. It differs from the other two species in the genus, A. curatus and A. azurelineatus, in various features including having golden upper body lacking dark edges of dorsal and caudal fins, higher modal number of tubed lateral line scales, as well as differences in two mitochondrial markers, one nuclear marker, and RAD markers.

Keywords: Apelagic fishes, Acanthochromis, CO1, Control region, RAD markers

Figure 3. Altrichthys alelia in its natural environment, near a common nesting substrate, the coral Porites cylindrica

Alelia’s damselfish
Altrichthys alelia Bernardi, Longo, & Quiros, sp. n.

 Type locality: San José, Busuanga Island, Philippines. 

Diagnosis and description: A species of Altrichthys distinguished by the following combination of characters: dorsal rays XIV, 13–14; anal rays II, 15, tubed lateral line scales 14–15 (Table 1); preorbital and sensory pores small and numerous, usually more than 30, adult coloration in life pale green on upper half grading to white on lower part; iris silvery; pale yellow to gold outer margin of dorsal and upper and lower edges of caudal fin. Fins mainly white to translucent. Juveniles up to 16mm in length are mostly white with a prominent yellow stripe along the lateral line (Figure 3). Adults are generally of the same size as other Altrichthys adults, approximately 70–80mm TL. Altrichthys alelia differs from A. curatus by having long filaments at the trailing edges of the dorsal and caudal fins, and from A. azurelineatus by lacking any black lining of the outer edges of dorsal and caudal fins. These black margins are represented by yellow/gold margins in A. alelia (Figure 4). Pored lateral line scales easily distinguish A. curatus (17–18) and A. azurelineatus (10-14). Counts for A. alelia are most similar to and overlap A. azurelineatus counts, but exhibit a higher mode (15).

Distribution: Known from northern Busuanga Island at San José, Palawan Province, Philippines (Figure 2).
Habitat: Collected off live and extensive thickets of corals mostly Porites cylindrica.

Etymology: The name Altrichthys alelia derives from the combined first names of Alessio Bernardi and Amalia Bernardi, who greatly helped during field-work on Altrichthys.

Common name: We suggest Alelia’s damselfish as a literal translation of the scientific name.

 Giacomo Bernardi, Gary C. Longo and T.E. Angela L. Quiros. 2017. Altrichthys alelia, A New Brooding Damselfish (Teleostei, Perciformes, Pomacentridae) from Busuanga Island, Philippines.   ZooKeys. 675: 45-55.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.675.12061

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