Saturday, July 26, 2008
ANOTHER NEW FIJIAN ANEMONEFISH
In the past month, another anemonefish has been described from Fiji. It has been given the name Amphiprion barberi. This fish has long been considered a color form of Amphiprion melanopus, an anemonefish that is known to range from Bali to the Society Islands, north to the Marianas, and south to the Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia. But after further investigation by pomacentrid-guru, Dr. Gerald Allen, this supposed variant has been raised to species status. Here is the abstract from the publication:
Amphiprion barberi, a new species of anemonefish fish, is described from 46 specimens, 16.3-85.8 mm SL, collected at depths of 2-10 m from coral reefs of Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa. It is closely allied to A. melanopus, which is widely distributed in the western Pacific. The two species exhibit significant colour-pattern differences, including a mainly reddish orange body in A. barberi and dark brown or blackish body in A. melanopus. Adults of the new species also possess fewer spinules (11-19 versus 19-26) in the upper-opercular series than A. melanopus. Genetic data presented here confirms the separation of these species.
Gerald R. Allen, Joshua Drew and Les Kaufman: Amphiprion barberi, a new species of anemonefish (Pomacentridae) from Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa. Aqua – International Journal of Ichthyology. 14 (3): 105-114
Photos copyright Scott W. Michael.