Wednesday, June 12, 2019

[Ichthyology • 2019] Pomacentrus vatosoa • A New Species of Damselfish (Teleostei: Pomacentridae: Pomacentrus) from Nosy Faho, Madagascar

Pomacentrus vatosoa
 Frable & Tea, 2019

Pomacentrus vatosoa, new species, is described on the basis of four specimens collected from Nosy Faho, Madagascar. The new species is distinctive in having a pearlescent-white body with a large black spot midlaterally behind the pectoral fin, a black saddle of similar size on the dorsal edge of the caudal peduncle, and a black recurved band from the orbit to origin of dorsal fin. Aside from details in live coloration, the new species is readily diagnosed from congeners in having the following combination of characters: dorsal-fin rays XIV, 13–14; anal-fin rays II, 14; pectoral-fin rays 18–19; tubed lateral scales 19–20; gill rakers 5–6+17–18 = 22–24; infraorbitals naked; teeth on lower jaw partly biserial; no distinct notch between infraorbitals 1 and 2; and a crescent opening of the supraorbital canal above the eye. The new species appears to be most closely related to Pomacentrus atriaxillaris on the basis of meristic data, though comparative molecular sequences for P. atriaxillaris are lacking. Assignment of the new species to the genus Pomacentrus is accompanied with a brief discussion of the systematic contention within the Pomacentridae.

Fig. 3. Pomacentrus vatosoa, new species, ZRC 60713, 47.0 mm SL, paratype in life, Nosy Faho, Madagascar. Right facing side, image reversed.
Photo by Y. K. Tea. 
Fig. 2. Head details of Pomacentrus vatosoa, new species, ZRC 60713, 43.6 mm SL, paratype, Nosy Faho, Madagascar. Specimen stained temporarily with cyanine blue.
AN, anterior nostril; CSO, crescent opening of supraorbital canal; IO1, infraorbital 1; IO2, infraorbital 2. Arrow indicates posterior extent of free margin of infraorbital 2.

 Photo by Y. K. Tea.

Pomacentrus vatosoa, new species  
 Corazon’s Damsel

Etymology.— The specific epithet is a compound word meaning ‘‘beautiful stone’’ in Malagasy, in reference to the opalescent or pearlescent qualities of the new species in life. The common name is given in honor of Corazon Sibayan Shutman, wife of Barnett Shutman, who provided us with specimens used in this study.

Benjamin W. Frable and Yi-Kai Tea. 2019. A New Species of Damselfish (Teleostei: Pomacentridae: Pomacentrus) from Nosy Faho, Madagascar. Copeia. 107(2); 323-331. DOI: 10.1643/CI-19-221