Ichthyological Research

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 193–197 | Cite as

Rainfordia opercularis, a liopropomin serranid (Teleostei: Serranidae: Epinephelinae): corroborative evidence from settlement-stage larvae

  • Carole C. BaldwinEmail author
  • Jeffrey M. Leis
Full paper


Rainfordia opercularis was described in 1923 from a single specimen taken in Edgecumbe Bay, Queensland, Australia. The species is rare in museum collections, and the larvae have not been described. In 1999, two settlement-stage larvae (20–21 mm in standard length) were collected in light traps set off Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. The smaller of the two has one thin, flexible, extremely elongate dorsal-fin spine encased in a pigmented sheath. The larger specimen lacks an elongate dorsal-fin spine and exhibits caudal-fin pigment characteristic of adults. A combination of features in one or both of the settlement-stage larvae support the placement of Rainfordia in the epinepheline-serranid tribe Liopropomini: presence of an elongate, filamentous dorsal-fin spine serially associated with the first dorsal-fin pterygiophore; presence of a spine on the inner preopercular ridge; presence of dense pigment on the frontals; absence of an elongate spine at the angle of the preopercle; and absence of supraorbital spination.

Key words

Rainfordia opercularis Settlement-stage larvae Relationships Epinephelinae Liopropomini 


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Supplementary material

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Settlement-stage larva of Rainfordia opercularis, AMS I. 39081-001, 21.4 mm SL, Lizard Island, Queensland. The semicircular band of pigment on the distal third of the caudal fin, which did not show well in the original black-and-white photograph, was enhanced using Adobe Photoshop. The natural pigment is best seen in a color photograph of this preserved specimen, which is available on Springer's server at


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Fishes, MRC 159National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian InstitutionWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.IchthyologyAustralian MuseumSydneyAustralia

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