, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 53-64
Date: 27 Feb 2008

A review of the Indo-Pacific bonefishes of the Albula argentea complex, with a description of a new species

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In this statement about numbers of nominal and valid species, the bonefish Albula argentea (Forster in Bloch and Schneider 1801) of the western and South Pacific, previously regarded as an unavailable name, is a senior synonym of Albula forsteri Valenciennes (an unnecessary replacement name for A. argentea) and A. neoguinaica Valenciennes. It is easily distinguished from the wide-ranging A. glossodonta (Forsskål 1775) by its more pointed lower jaw and higher vertebral and lateral-line scale counts. It is most similar to the Indian Ocean A. oligolepis, described here as a new species, and the endemic Hawaiian A. virgata Jordan and Jordan, resurrected from synonymy. Albula argentea differs from its two related species by higher counts of pored lateral-line scales and vertebrae. It has 68–74 (mode 70) lateral-line scales vs. 61–65 (63) for A. oligolepis and 63–67 (65) for A. virgata, and 71–74 (73) vertebrae vs. 64–66 (65) for A. oligolepis and 65–68 (67) for A. virgata. Albula virgata differs further from A. oligolepis in having the pelvic fin tip reaching beyond the anus (vs. short of or just reaching anus) and higher numbers of scale rows above the lateral line 9–10 (9) vs. 7½–8 (8) for A. oligolepis.