|Malthopsis oculata, M. bulla & M. mcgroutheri; |
Malthopsis apis & M. tetrabulla
Ho & Last, 2021
A taxonomic review of the batfish genus Malthopsis in the Australian waters is provided. Eleven valid species are recognized in this study: Malthopsis gigas Ho and Shao, 2010, Malthopsis parva Ho, Roberts and Shao, 2013, Malthopsis asperata Ho, Roberts and Shao, 2013, Malthopsis lutea Alcock, 1891, Malthopsis mitrigera Gilbert and Cramer, 1897, Malthopsis provocator Whitley, 1961, and an additional five species new to science. Four of these new species, Malthopsis apis sp. nov., Malthopsis bulla sp. nov., Malthopsis oculata sp. nov., and Malthopsis tetrabulla sp. nov. belong to a species group lacking spinules on the interspaces between bucklers of the ventral surface, whereas Malthopsis mcgroutheri sp. nov. belongs to another species group characterized by having spinules on the interspaces between bucklers of the ventral surface. Four other taxa were identified during this study that may be undescribed but require further investigation. The Australian endemic species M. provocator, formerly considered to be a synonym of Malthopsis kobayashii Tanaka, 1916, is resurrected herein and two widespread species, M. asperata and M. lutea, are newly recorded from Australia. A key to all Australian species is provided.