Friday, August 28, 2020

[Ichthyology • 2020] Betta nuluhon • A New Species of Fighting Fish (Teleostei: Osphronemidae) from western Sabah, Malaysia

Betta nuluhon Kamal, Tan & Ng, 2020

Betta nuluhon, new species, is described from a hill stream habitat in western Sabah. This species is allied to both B. chini and B. balunga, and differs from rest of its congeners in the B. akarensis group in having the following combination of characters: yellow iris when live; mature males with greenish-blue iridescence on opercle when live; mature fish with distinct transverse bars on caudal fin; slender body (body depth 22.1–25.2 % SL); belly area with faint reticulate pattern (scales posteriorly rimmed with black); absence of tiny black spots on anal fin; lateral scales 29–31 (mode 30); predorsal scales 20–21 (mode 20). Notes on a fresh series of B. chini are also provided.

Keywords: Taxonomy, biodiversity, Southeast Asia, Anabantiformes, riparian habitat, Pisces

FIGURE 1. Betta nuluhon, new species, ca. 50 mm SL, freshly caught male specimen, not preserved.

FIGURE 3. Betta nuluhon, new species, ZRC 61247, holotype, 62.6 mm SL.

Betta nuluhon, new species

Etymology. This new species is named for the Kadazandusun vernacular nuluhon, meaning hill. This pertains to its hill stream habitat. Used as a noun in apposition.

N. S. S. Kamal, H. H. Tan and Casey K. C. Ng. 2020. Betta nuluhon, A New Species of Fighting Fish from western Sabah, Malaysia (Teleostei: Osphronemidae). Zootaxa. 4819(1); 187–194. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4819.1.11