A new species of Soleichthys (Soleidae: Pleuronectiformes) from tropical seas off northern Australia
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Soleichthys maculosus, described from six specimens collected in shallow waters (37–63 m) off northern Australia, is readily distinguished from congeners by its unique ocular-side pigmentation featuring numerous, conspicuous white spots and blotches nearly as large as the eye diameter on a uniformly dark brown background without any crossbands, and in having two elongated, ocular-side pectoral-fin rays, with the second dorsalmost ray longer than the first, and without scales on the pectoral-fin rays. Soleichthys maculosus is most similar to S. siammakuti, a poorly-known species collected in the Gulf of Thailand, but differs from S. siammakuti in having the second dorsalmost ocular-side pectoral-fin ray longer than the first (vs. first ocular-side pectoral-fin ray longer in S. siammakuti), and in having different ocular-side pigmentation than that of S. siammakuti, which features yellow spots on dorsal and anal fins, two conspicuous white spots arranged in longitudinal series on the lateral line, and also a series of nine, light brown crossbands on a dark brown body.
Key wordsSoleidae Soleichthys New species Pleuronectiformes
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