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Roa haraguchiae, a new species of butterflyfish (Teleostei: Perciformes: Chaetodontidae) from Japan and the Philippines


A new butterflyfish, Roa haraguchiae, is described on the basis of eight specimens (63.2–92.8 mm standard length: SL) collected from Japan and the Philippines. The new species is most similar to Roa rumsfeldi Rocha, Pinheiro, Wandell, Rocha and Shepherd 2017, known only from the holotype from the Philippines. Both species are distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: long snout (12.6–14.1% of SL), lesser head depth (46.2–54.9%), short postorbital area (12.1–14.1%) and pectoral fin (27.9–32.4%), and second and third bands on the body without blackish edges. The new species is however easily distinguished from R. rumsfeldi (based on the original description and an additional Philippine specimen) in having 5–8 non-pored lateral-line scales (vs. 13 scales in the latter), 11 or 12 scale rows above the lateral line (vs. 8), 22–28 scale rows below the lateral line (vs. 19), 10–12 scale rows under the longer axis of a black blotch on the dorsal-fin soft-rayed portion (vs. 8), the anterior margin of the second body band not reaching anteroventrally to the pelvic-fin spine base, and the pelvic-fin spine and first soft ray white (vs. black).

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We are especially grateful to K. Hoshino, Y. Aonuma, T. Sakai, and M. Yoda (SNFR), crews of RV Kumamoto-maru, students of Amakusa Takushin High School, and M. Okamoto (JAMARC) for providing opportunities to examine the East China Sea specimens; A. Mishiku (Nago, Okinawa, Japan), S. Dewa (Diving Services Umiannai, Japan), and Y.-C. Liah (National Academy of Marine Research, Taiwan) for providing photographs of Roa; M. McGrouther, A. Hay, and S. Reader (AMS), P.-L. Lin, M.-Y. Lin, and S.-P. Huang (ASIZP), O. Crimmen and J. Maclaine (BMNH), A. Suzumoto and L. O’Hara (BPBM), H. Endo, T. Naito, and M. Sato (BSKU), Y. Kai (FAKU), S. Kimura (FRLM), Y. Hibino (KMNH), and J. Williams and S. Raredon (USNM) for providing opportunities to examine specimens of Roa; M. Matsunuma (KUN), T. Yoshida (SNFR), H. Hata (NSMT), B. Jeong (Chonbuk National University, Korea), and S. Chungthanawong, H. Wada, K. Wibowo, K. Fujiwara, S. Morishita, and J. Nakamura (KAUM) for advice on the examination and survey of type specimens; M. Itou, Y. Haraguchi, and other volunteers of KAUM for curatorial assistance and collection of specimens; K. Koeda (Kuroshio Biological Research Foundation, japan) for donating specimens; and G. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) for reading the manuscript and providing help with English. The type series of the new species included specimens collected during “Promoting Stock Surveys and Assessments of Fisheries Resources of Waters around Japan” and “Promoting Stock Surveys and Assessments of International Fisheries Resources” projects promoted by Fisheries Agency of Japan. This study was conducted under a Memorandum of Agreement for joint research made by and among the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines (DA), the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), the Kagoshima University Museum, the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, and Tokai University, facilitated by S. L. Sanchez [Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), DA]. P. J. Alcala (DA) provided a Prior Informed Consent Certificate, and I. P. Cabacaba and S. M. S. Nolasco (BFAR, DA) provided a fish specimen Export Certificate (No. 2016-39812). We thank the staff of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Extension, UPV, and UPV Museum of Natural Sciences, College of Fisheries, UPV, including R. P. Babaran, S. S. Garibay, U. B. Alama, V. G. Urbina, L. H. Mooc, C. J. N. Rubido, E. P. Abunal, A. M. T. Guzman, R. S. Cruz, A. C. Gaje, and R. F. M. Traifalgar, and graduate students of the College of Fisheries, UPV, for their support of this research collaboration. This study was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP19770067, JP26241027, JP24370041, JP23580259, and JP26450265; the JSPS Core-to-Core Program: B Asia-Africa Science Platforms; the “Biological Properties of Biodiversity Hotspots in Japan” project of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Japan; “Establishment of Research and Education Network on Biodiversity and Its Conservation in the Satsunan Islands” project of Kagoshima University adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan; and the “Island Research” project by Kagoshima University.

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Correspondence to Hiroyuki Motomura.

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Uejo, T., Senou, H. & Motomura, H. Roa haraguchiae, a new species of butterflyfish (Teleostei: Perciformes: Chaetodontidae) from Japan and the Philippines. Ichthyol Res 67, 408–415 (2020).

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  • Taxonomy
  • Roa rumsfeldi
  • East China Sea
  • Morphology
  • Description