Monday, August 5, 2019

[Ichthyology • 2018] Pomacentrus bellipictus • A New Microendemic Species of Damselfish (Pisces: Pomacentridae) from the Fakfak Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia

 Pomacentrus bellipictus 
Allen, Erdmann & Hidayat, 2018

A new species of damselfish, Pomacentrus bellipictus, is described from 13 specimens, 37.7-67.9 mm SL, collected at the Kokas area of the Fakfak Peninsula, a portion of the Bird's Head Peninsula of western New Guinea (West Papua Province, Indonesia). It is distinguished from most similar species in the western Pacific Ocean by having 14 instead of 13 dorsal-fin spines. It also possesses a unique facial coloration consisting of highly contrasted blue areas around the mouth and onto the isthmus, below the eye, and along the margin of the preopercle. The only other species of Pomacentrus from the region with 14 dorsal spines that are also drab-brown when alive, P. fakfakensis and P. opisthostigma, are clearly distinguished on the basis of adult and juvenile color patterns and also show different habitat preferences. In addition, P. opisthostigma is distinguished from the other two species by fewer lateral-line scales (usually 15-17 vs. usual 18-19) and more gill rakers on the first arch (26-29 vs. 18-21). The three species co-occur in the Kokas area, but occupy different habitats: Pomacentrus bellipictus inhabits rocky, wave-washed shorelines in about 1-2 m depth, while the other two species occur in deeper water. The new species is apparently endemic to the small area around the Fakfak Peninsula, where several other microendemic reef fish species have been described.

Key words: taxonomy, systematics, ichthyology, microendemic, coral-reef fishes, Indo-Pacific Ocean, Fakfak, Bird’s Head Peninsula.

Figure 3. Pomacentrus bellipictus n. sp., underwater photographs of adult, approx. 60 mm SL, Kokas District, West Papua Province, Indonesia (M.V. Erdmann).

Pomacentrus bellipictus, n. sp.
Bluemouth Demoiselle

Diagnosis. Dorsal-fin elements usually XIV (rarely XIII),12–14 (usually XIV,14); anal-fin elements II,12–15 (usually 14–15); pectoral-fin rays 17–19 (rarely 19); tubed lateral-line scales 17–19 (usually 18); total gill rakers on first arch 18–20 (rarely 20); body depth 1.8–2.0 (mean 1.9) in SL; scales absent on preorbital and suborbital; lower margin of suborbital series with 4–12 serrae; color in life mainly dark brown, nearly black, with contrasting blue areas around mouth (including isthmus), below eye, and along margin of preopercle; iris of adult mostly dark gray with a narrow bronze ring around pupil.

Etymology. The species is named bellipictus (Latin: war-painted) with reference to its facial coloration and belligerent behaviour towards divers. The specific epithet is a masculine compound adjective.

Figure 6. Fuum Islet (foreground), the type locality of Pomacentrus bellipictus. Type specimens were collected from the mostly shaded area adjacent to the rocky shoreline (M.V. Erdmann).

Gerald R. Allen, Mark V. Erdmann and Nur I. Hidayat. 2018. Pomacentrus bellipictus, A New Microendemic Species of Damselfish (Pisces: Pomacentridae) from the Fakfak Peninsula, West Papua, Indonesia. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 30, 1-10.