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A new species of scorpionfish, Ebosia saya (Scorpaenidae: Pteroinae), from the western Indian Ocean and notes on fresh coloration of Ebosia falcata


A new scorpionfish, Ebosia saya sp. nov. (Scorpaenidae: Pteroinae), is described on the basis of 10 specimens collected from the Saya de Malha Bank in depths of 95–126 m. Comparisons with two valid Indo-Pacific species, Ebosia bleekeri (Döderlein in Steindachner and Döderlein 1884) (western Pacific Ocean) and Ebosia falcata Eschmeyer and Rama-Rao 1978 (northern and eastern Indian Ocean), showed E. saya to be most similar to the latter, with both species sharing 8 (usually) anal-fin soft rays, 17 (usually) pectoral-fin rays, the elongated parietal spine of males relatively narrow and strongly falcate posterodorsally, and the pectoral fin predominantly yellow in males, whereas E. bleekeri has 7 (usually) anal-fin soft rays, 16 (usually) pectoral-fin rays, the elongated parietal spine of males relatively broad and weakly falcate, and the pectoral fins entirely red in males. However, E. saya differs from E. falcata in having 5 scale rows above the lateral line [vs. 4 or 5 (modally 4) in E. falcata], slightly greater total numbers (5–20, mean 12.3) of preocular, supraocular, and postocular spines at 60–90 mm SL (vs. 4–18, 8.4), shorter postorbital length 18.1–19.2 (mean 18.7) % SL [vs. 19.8–23.5 (21.5) % SL], and the blotch above the pectoral-fin base and blotches on the pectoral-fin membrane all relatively smaller. Fresh coloration of E. falcata is described for the first time, based on specimens from the Andaman Sea (easternmost record for the species).

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We are deeply grateful to M. McGrouther, A. Hay, and S. Reader (AMS); K.-T. Shao, Y.-C. Liao, and M.-Y. Lee (ASIZP); H. Endo, T. Yamakawa, N. Nakayama (BSKU), and E. Katayama (formerly BSKU); T. Nakabo, Y. Kai, A. Tokairin (FAKU), and N. Muto (formerly FAKU); M. Yabe, H. Imamura, and T. Kawai (HUMZ); R. Causse (MNHN); Y. Iwatsuki (MUFS), K. Hidaka, and K. Miyamoto (formerly MUFS); Z. Arifin, R. Pratiwi, M. Adrim, I. Alhakim, and K. Wibowo (NCIP); H.-C. Ho (NMMB); M. Gomon and D. Bray (NMV); K. Matsuura and G. Shinohara (NSMT); K.-Y. Wu (NTUM); T. Yoshino (formerly URM); K. Hoshino and M. Okamoto (SNFR); J. Williams (USNM); S. Morrison (WAM); R. Thiel and I. Eidus (ZMH); and K. Sakamoto (ZUMT) for their kind hospitality during the first author’s visits to their institutions. We are also grateful to R. Feeney (LACM) for providing opportunities to examine specimens, H.-C. Ho (MNHB) for donating specimens, H. Endo and T. Kawai for providing photographs of fresh E. bleekeri and E. saya, respectively, and Y. Haraguchi, students, and other KAUM volunteers for curatorial assistance and sampling specimens. The first author is especially grateful to S. Chiba (NSMT) for advice with molecular analysis and M. Sakurai (The Kagoshima Immaculate Heart College) for advice with gonad examinations. G. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) read the manuscript and provided help with English. Specimens from Pakistan were donated to KAUM from Marine Fisheries Department, Government of Pakistan, and P. Psomadakis (FAO, Rome). This study was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A: 26241027, B: 24370041, and C: 23580259 and 26450265) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan (JSPS), JSPS Asian Core Program “Establishment of Research and Education Network on Coastal Marine Science in Southeast Asia”, JSPS International Training Program “Protect Diversity of Bioresources in the Tropical Area”, the Coastal Area Capability Enhancement in Southeast Asia Project of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto, Japan, and the “Biological Properties of Biodiversity Hotspots in Japan” project of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Japan, and by the grant awarded to the first author from the Mikimoto Fund for Marine Ecology.

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Correspondence to Mizuki Matsunuma.

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This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as B264ADE4-84F9-42A4-AFB6-8EA791FF671C.

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Matsunuma, M., Motomura, H. A new species of scorpionfish, Ebosia saya (Scorpaenidae: Pteroinae), from the western Indian Ocean and notes on fresh coloration of Ebosia falcata . Ichthyol Res 62, 293–312 (2015).

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  • Ebosia bleekeri
  • sexual dimorphism
  • distribution
  • Saya de Malha Bank