Redescriptions of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfishes Scorpaenodes kelloggi (Jenkins 1903) and Scorpaenodes hirsutus (Smith 1957) (Scorpaenidae)


A taxonomic review of the Scorpaenodes kelloggi complex, including S. kelloggi, S. keelingensis and S. hirsutus, characterized by having usually 8 dorsal-fin soft rays, 27–35 longitudinal series scale rows, and nasal spines, and lacking scales on the underside of the head, dark blotches on the opercle and subopercle, a black vertical band basally on the pectoral fin, and white spots on the body, resulted in the recognition of two valid species: S. kelloggi and S. hirsutus, S. keelingensis being a junior synonym of the former. The two species are redescribed, including 19 newly recognized diagnostic features, including head spination, meristics, morphometrics, and coloration. Both are widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, with S. kelloggi and S. hirsutus being recorded for the first time from Japan and French Polynesia, respectively.

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We are especially grateful to A. Hay, S. Reader and M. McGrouther (AMS), J. Maclaine and O. Crimmen (BMNH), D. Catania and M. Hoang (CAS), H. Kawase (CMNH), H. Yoshigou (HMNH), H. Senou (KPM), P. Pruvost, R. Causse, Z. Gabsi, J. Pfliger and P. Béarez (MNHN), I.-S. Chen (NTOU), G. Shinohara and M. Nakae (NSMT), R. Bills, E. Heemstra, O. Gon and M. Dwani (SAIAB), K. Miyamoto (URM/OCF), J. Williams, S. Raredon, K. Murphy, L. Palmer, D. Pitassy, S. Smith and E. Wilbur (USNM), and K. Hagiwara (YCM) for specimen loans and/or kind hospitality during the second author’s visits to their institutions, Y. Ohzawa (Nagoya Kaisansijyo Co. Ltd., Japan) for collecting data for some specimens, H.-C. Ho (NMMB) for the donation of a Taiwanese specimen to KAUM, Y. Haraguchi and other volunteers, and students of KAUM for their kind assistance, and G. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) for reading the manuscript and providing help with English. This study was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 20H03311 and 21H03651; the JSPS Core-to-Core CREPSUM JPJSCCB2020009; the “Biological Properties of Biodiversity Hotspots in Japan” project of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Japan; and “Establishment of Glocal Research and Education Network in the Amami Islands” project of Kagoshima University adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

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Correspondence to Kazuo Hoshino.

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Hoshino, K., Motomura, H. Redescriptions of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfishes Scorpaenodes kelloggi (Jenkins 1903) and Scorpaenodes hirsutus (Smith 1957) (Scorpaenidae). Ichthyol Res (2021).

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  • Taxonomy
  • Morphology
  • Diagnosis
  • Distribution
  • Scorpaenodes keelingensis