Sunday, December 13, 2020

[Ichthyology • 2020] Lepadichthys conwayi • A New Species of Lepadichthys (Teleostei, Gobiesocidae) from the Central South Pacific and Comments on the Taxonomic Status of Lepadichthys springeri Briggs, 2001

Lepadichthys conwayi
 Fujiwara & Motomura, 2020

Lepadichthys conwayi, new species, is described on the basis of 42 specimens (13.0–42.0 mm in standard length [SL]) collected from the central South Pacific and characterized by the following combination of characters: head sensory canal pores well developed, including 2 nasal, lacrimal and postorbital, and 3 preopercular pores; 13–16 (modally 15, rarely 16) dorsal-fin rays; 11–14 (12, rarely 14) anal-fin rays; 27–30 (28) pectoral-fin rays; 8 or 9 (9), 8–11 (9), and 8–11 (9) gill rakers on first to third arches, respectively; upper end of gill membrane level with base of 7th to 10th (usually 9th) pectoral-fin ray in lateral view; disc length and width 15.0–17.1 (mean 16.0) and 11.1–16.1 (13.9) % SL, respectively, disc length plus disc width 27.8–33.2 (30.0) % SL; dorsal and anal fins with very weak membranous connections to (rarely separated from) caudal fin, posteriormost points of membranes usually just short of or just reaching vertical through caudal-fin base, otherwise very slightly beyond fin base; dorsal- and anal-caudal membrane lengths 3.4–7.1 (4.8) and 3.0–6.0 (4.8) % of caudal-fin length, respectively; black stripe on snout tip through eye to posterior region of head. In addition, examination of the type specimens of Lepadichthys springeri Briggs, 2001 revealed them to be conspecific with L. misakius (Tanaka, 1908), a valid species recently resurrected from the synonymy of L. frenatus Waite, 1904. Accordingly, L. springeri is regarded as a junior synonym of L. misakius.

Fresh coloration of Lepadichthys conwayi, new species.
 (A) USNM 423325, holotype, 39.3 mm SL, Raivavae Island, Austral Islands; 
(B) USNM 404728, paratype, 33.2 mm SL, Totegegie Island, Gambier Islands; 
(C) USNM 422862, paratype, 26.4 mm SL, same as holotype; 
(D) USNM 423420, paratype, 37.8 mm SL, Tubuai Island, Austral Islands; 
(E) USNM 423414, paratype, 31.3 mm SL, same as USNM 423420. 
(A–C) Lateral views. (D) Dorsal view. (E) Ventral view. 
Photos by J. Williams.

Lepadichthys conwayi, new species  
Conway’s Clingfish

Distribution.—Currently known only from the Cook Islands, the Austral and Gambier Islands (French Polynesia), and Pitcairn Islands in the central South Pacific (Fig. 8).

 Etymology.—The specific name conwayi is in recognition of Dr. Kevin Conway for his recent contributions to the systematics of clingfishes. The name is used as a noun in the genitive case.

Kyoji Fujiwara and Hiroyuki Motomura. 2020. A New Species of Lepadichthys from the Central South Pacific and Comments on the Taxonomic Status of Lepadichthys springeri Briggs, 2001 (Gobiesocidae). Copeia. 108(4); 833-846. DOI: 10.1643/CI2020036