Wednesday, May 31, 2023

[Ichthyology • 2023] Melanostomias dio • A New Species of the Dragonfish Genus Melanostomias (Stomiiformes: Stomiidae: Melanostomiinae) from the Western Tropical Atlantic

Melanostomias dio
Villarins, Fischer, Prokofiev & Mincarone, 2023

A new species of the scaleless black dragonfish genus Melanostomias is described based on a single specimen (180 mm SL) collected off the northern Fernando de Noronha Archipelago (Brazil), western Tropical Atlantic. It differs from its congeners in having a unique barbel morphology, which ends in a bulb with two opposite slender terminal appendages. In addition, the occurrences of Melanostomias melanops and M. valdiviae are confirmed in Brazilian waters based on examination of new material. An overview analysis of the distribution and meristic variation of the species within the genus is also provided.

Melanostomias dio, holotype, NPM 4606, 180 mm SL,
off northern Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, Brazil.
Scale bar = 10 mm.

Melanostomias dio, new species 
Horns-up Dragonfish 

Etymology.—The specific name honors the late Ronald James Padavona, professionally known as Ronnie James Dio, one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal vocalists of all time. Among his many contributions to the metal culture, Dio popularized the hand gesture commonly referred to as horns up, which resembles the shape of the terminal bulb on the chin barbel of the new species.

Bárbara Teixeira Villarins, Luciano Gomes Fischer, Artem Mikhailovich Prokofiev and Michael Maia Mincarone. 2023. A New Species of the Dragonfish Genus Melanostomias (Stomiidae: Melanostomiinae) from the Western Tropical Atlantic. Ichthyology & Herpetology. 111(2); 254-263.  DOI: 10.1643/i2022082