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A new species of deep-sea synaphobranchid eel, Haptenchelys parviocularis (Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae), from Japan


A new synaphobranchid eel Haptenchelys parviocularis is described on the basis of 15 specimens (467–840 mm in total length) collected off the Pacific coast of southern Japan, in depths of 4,093–4,866 m. The new species is distinguishable from its single congener, Haptenchelys texis Robins and Martin in Robins and Robins 1976, in having the following combination of characters: total vertebrae 127–137, caudal vertebrae 90–98; snout short, length 42.5–53.1 % upper-jaw length; eye much smaller than gill-slit aperture, diameter 37.5–59.4 % gill-slit length and 11.8–16.9 % upper-jaw length; eye positioned closer to middle of mouth gape (postorbital length-to gape 23.5–32.5 % head length and 40.5–50.9 % upper-jaw length); gill-slit aperture wide (15.8–22.1 % head length and 24.8–35.7 % upper-jaw length), orientation oblique to body axis.

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We deeply appreciate assistance provided by the following persons: Ken Fujimoto (National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, Yokohama), Masanori Okanishi (Kyoto University), and the crew of the R/V Soyo-maru for the procurement of the specimens; J. Maclaine (BMNH), J.T. Williams (NMNH), K.W. Conway (TAMU), M. Sabaj Pérez (ANSP), R. Causse and P. Pruvost (MNHN) and R.H. Robins (FMNH) for the loan of specimens; Hiromitsu Endo (BSKU), K. Luckenbill (ANSP) and Tsunemi Kubodera (NSMT) for supplying radiographs and/or photographs of the specimens; Eri Katayama (NSMT) for assistance with SEM; Keiichi Matsuura and Takashi P. Satoh (NSMT) for providing valuable information; Shinpei Ohashi (HUMZ) for sending literature; Yasunori Hanafusa (JAMSTEC) for providing information of J-EDI archives; Hisashi Imamura (HUMZ) and J. McCosker (CAS) for critically reading an early draft of the manuscript and providing important comments; Graham S. Hardy (Wangarei, New Zealand) for English corrections and helpful suggestions; and three anonymous referees for providing valuable comments. In the present study, the authors used the data from the JAMSTEC Data Research for Whole Cruise Information. This study was partly supported by MEXT KAKENHI Grant number 24120001.

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Correspondence to Fumihito Tashiro.

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This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as CB02F66A-8173-4CB1-9590-62D19FCA7D7F.

This article was published as an Online First article on the online publication date shown on this page. The article should be cited by using the doi number.

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Tashiro, F., Shinohara, G. A new species of deep-sea synaphobranchid eel, Haptenchelys parviocularis (Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae), from Japan. Ichthyol Res 62, 115–121 (2015).

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  • New species
  • Synaphobranchidae
  • Haptenchelys
  • Deep-sea bottom
  • Western North Pacific