Monday, September 25, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Pomacentrus flavioculus • A New Species of Damselfish (Teleostei: Pomacentridae) from Fiji and Tonga


Pomacentrus flavioculus
Allen, Erdmann & Pertiwi, 2017

Abstract

Pomacentrus flavioculus n. sp. is described on the basis of 140 specimens, 17.1–86.8 mm SL, from Fiji and Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean. The new species was formerly identified as Pomacentrus imitator (Whitley, 1964), which now appears to be restricted to the Coral Sea. The new species clearly differs from P. imitator on the basis of several color-pattern features, including a bright yellow ring that encircles the pupil, a more uniform body color (vs. contrasting pale scale centers and dark scale margins), a yellowish caudal fin (vs. whitish), and a small orange marking immediately above the large black spot that covers the pectoral-fin base (absent in P. imitator). Although meristic and morphological features are broadly similar, P. flavioculus has a strong mode of 14 anal-fin rays vs. 15 in P. imitator. Additionally, P. flavioculus usually has a greater preanal distance and almost always has a longer pelvic-fin spine. A phylogenetic analysis of concatenated mtDNA sequences shows the new species is 8.4% divergent (average pairwise distance) from its nearest relatives and is part of the broad Pomacentrus philippinus species complex.


Figure 1. Pomacentrus flavioculus, Lau Archipelago, Fiji, underwater photographs:
A) approx. 70 mm SL, B) approx. 55 mm SL, C) subadult, approx. 45 mm SL, D) juvenile, approx. 20 mm SL (G.R. Allen).


Pomacentrus flavioculus, n. sp. 
Yelloweye Damselfish

Etymology. The new species is named flavioculus (Latin: yellow eye) with reference to the diagnostic yellow ring that encircles the pupil.

Distribution. The new species is known only from Fiji and Tonga (Fig. 3), where it is commonly encountered in depths of about 4–30 m. It occurs on both outer reefs and in lagoons, usually adjacent to steep coral formations with abundant ledges and overhangs.


Gerald R. Allen, Mark V. Erdmann and P.D. Pertiwi. 2017. Pomacentrus flavioculus, A New Species of Damselfish from Fiji and Tonga (Teleostei: Pomacentridae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 28, 22–33.  DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.896910



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