New record of the cuskeel genus Neobythites (Pisces, Ophidiidae) from the Solomon Sea with description of a new species and notes on colour patterns

Uiblein F., Nielsen J.G.

Date de parution: mai 2021
Volume: 45
Number: 2
Pagination: 083-088
Editeur: Société Française d’Ichtyologie

The cuskeel genus Neobythites (Ophidiidae) is recorded for the first time from the Solomon Sea, SW Pacific, and a new species, N. solomonensis n. sp., is described based on five specimens (SL 137-166 mm) caught at 498-839 m depth in the eastern Solomon Sea. The new species is characterized by having two spines on hind margin of preoperculum, a distinct lateral body stripe and dark-brown or grey dorsal-fin margin. The most similar species is N. somaliaensis Nielsen, 1995, of which 14 specimens are compared. Neobythites solomonensis n. sp. differs from the latter in the following characters (N. somaliaensis in brackets): total vertebrae 58-61 (61-64), developed gill rakers 12-14 (9-11), orbit length 4.0-4.9 (5.0-6.1) in % SL, longest gill filament on anterior arch 4.6-5.3 (11.0-14.0) in % head length and presence (absence) of body stripe. The significance of studying colour patterns in the speciose genus Neobythites (55 valid species) is discussed.

Mots-clés: Body and otolith shape - Dark dorsal-fin margin - Lateral body stripe - Meristic characters - Neobythites solomonensis n. sp. - Ophidiidae
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