Hetereleotris readerae , Douglass F. Hoese & Helen K. Larson, 2005

Douglass F. Hoese & Helen K. Larson, 2005, Description of two new species of Hetereleotris (Gobiidae) from the south Pacific, with a revised key to species and synonymization of the genus Pascua with Hetereleotris., Zootaxa 1096, pp. 1-16: 11-13

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Hetereleotris readerae

sp. nov.

Hetereleotris readerae  ZBK  sp. nov.

(Fig. 5, Tables 1-3)

Hetereleotris sp.  ZBK  - Gill & Reader 1992: 92 (Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs).

Holotype. AMS I. 27149-048, 21 mm SL male, Elizabeth Reef, NE outer slope (29°54.8'S, 159°02.8'E), 11 m, S. Reader, A. Gill, M. Cordell, 10 December 1987. 

Paratypes. AMS I.27149-036, 2(20-21), taken with holotype  ; AMS I.27138-053, 2(19-24), Middleton Reef, mid back lagoon (29°27.8'S, 159°05'E), 9 m, A. Gill, S. Reader, D. Leadbitter, M. Cordel, 5 December 1987  ; AMS I.27139-030, 1(21), outer W edge of Middleton Reef (29°29.2'S, 159°04.1'E), 6 m, A. Gill, S. Reader, D. Leadbitter, M. Cordel, 6 December 1987  .

Diagnosis. Pelvic fins widely separated at base, rays I,5, fifth ray unbranched, distance between bases of inner rays of two fins about equal to base of either fin. One head pore by each posterior nostril, a single anterior interorbital pore, a single posterior interorbital pore, a supraorbital pore behind eye, an infraorbital pore below supraorbital pore behind eye, a lateral canal pore behind infraorbital pore, a terminal lateral-canal pore over preopercular margin, and two preopercular pores (Fig. 2). First gill-arch connected by membrane to inside of gill cover. Gill opening restricted to depth of pectoral base. Anterior nostril tubular; posterior nostril a simple pore or with slightly elevated anterior rim. First two dorsal spines prolonged or not in males. First dorsal fin without prominent black spots or dark lines, often with small brown irregular marks near base of fin. A black spot subequal to pupil diameter behind eye. Second dorsal-fin rays I,8.

Description. First dorsal-fin spines VI (in 6*); second dorsal-fin rays I,8; anal-fin rays usually I,8; pectoral-fin rays 17-18; pelvic-fin rays I,5 (in 6*); segmented caudal-fin rays 17 (in 3); branched caudal-fin rays 13-15 7/6(1), 8/7(2, fin damaged in holotype); unsegmented caudal-fin rays 6/5(2), 5/5(1). Branchiostegal rays 5 (6*). Vertebrae 10+17 = 27 (2*). Longitudinal scale count 22-23*. Transverse scale count (TRB) 7(5*). Variation of some of the meristics are indicated in Tables 1-3.

Head slightly broader than as deep, rounded; compressed body tapering slightly posteriorly; mouth moderately oblique, forming an angle of about 20° with body axis; posterior margin of mouth lies below a point between middle and posterior margin of pupil. Lower jaw projecting slightly. Snout about 1.1 times eye length. Eye separated from upper jaw by less than a pupil diameter. Fleshy interorbital less than 0.5 mm in holotype. Anterior nostril at end of short tube; posterior nostril a pore, with an elevated anterior margin, in contact with anterior margin of orbit. Lower margin of gill opening just under ventral margin of pectoral base. Tongue truncated to slightly emarginate. No rakers on outer face of first gill arch, and 5 rakers in inner face of arch; rakers on remaining arches small clusters of spines.

Dorsal and anal rays, all but one or two pectoral rays, and four pelvic rays, branched. Second dorsal and anal spines about two-thirds body depth at anal origin. In males, posterior rays longest, but in females all rays approximately of equal length. In one male, first two dorsal spines prolonged to well beyond spine of second dorsal fin, but not prolonged in second male. In females, first three spines of approximately same length, and first spine not reaching spine of second dorsal fin. Remaining dorsal spines decreasing in length posteriorly. First dorsal fin membrane ending just before second dorsal origin. Middle and longest pectoral rays reaching to or beyond anus. Fourth and longest pelvic ray reaching slightly beyond anus. Fifth pelvic ray unbranched, shorter than third ray, subequal in length to second and about half length of fourth ray. Rounded caudal about 0.9 times as long as head.

Urogenital papilla short and rounded in females, elongate and flattened with short lateral lobes at distal tip; 2.5 to 4 times as long as broad in males, and 1 to 2 times as long as broad in females. T pores and papillae of the lateralis system are shown in Figure 2.

Squamation. Scales confined to body, ending anteriorly at a line from second or third dorsal spine to upper base of pectoral fin (Fig. 2). Scales ctenoid on sides of body, but cycloid on belly. Scales on midline of belly smaller than those on either side. Two modified scales, with enlarged ctenii, at base of caudal fin. Anterior to base of pelvic fins, on midline, one large cycloid scale between base of fin and sometimes with a smaller scale anteriorly on midline.

Teeth of upper jaw. Teeth of outer row curved, enlarged, and wide-set. Occasionally smaller teeth inserted between enlarged ones. Inside this row, smaller conical teeth in 3 rows, converging posteriorly into a single row. Inside these rows, on each side, 3 or 4 enlarged teeth near anterior part of jaw.

Teeth of lower jaw. An outer row of 5-8 enlarged, curved, closely spaced teeth on each side extends one quarter length of jaw. Inside this row, a single series of smaller teeth extending full length of jaw, and inside this series a row of 6 to 8 curved teeth, on each side, becoming larger posteriorly and extending full length of jaw.

Coloration in alcohol. Head and body pale brown. Few scattered small brown spots on sides of head dorsally. A faint oblique brown bar extending from anteroventral margin of eye to above middle of upper jaw, not crossing onto jaw (very faint in holotype). A darkbrown spot, about as large as pupil, less than a pupil diameter behind upper middle of eye. No spots on midside, some scale pockets on dorsal half of body edged with dusky pigment posteriorly. Thin brown lines extending ventrally from below third and sixth dorsal spine, anteriorly below second segmented dorsal ray and near end of dorsal fin. Base of caudal with a faint brown spot, often Y-shaped with apex pointed anteriorly. Fins usually clear, pelvic fin of males with melanophores along sides of pelvic rays. covered by melanophores in males, but unmarked in females. Urogenital papilla unpigmented in either sex.

Etymology. Named for Sally Reader, who helped collect the type series.

Remarks. The species is known only from Middleton and Elizabeth reefs off eastern Australia.

The species was collected in rocky areas with some coral in depths of 6-11 m. The species is known from two males (21-24 mm SL) and four females (19-21 mm SL).


Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, Australian Museum