Lophiocharon hutchinsi, Pietsch, 2004

Pietsch, Theodore W., 2004, A New Species of the Anglerfish Genus Lophiocharon Whitley (Lophiiformes: Antennariidae) from Australian Waters, Records of the Australian Museum 56 (2), pp. 159-162 : 160-162

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Lophiocharon hutchinsi


Lophiocharon hutchinsi n.sp.

Figs. 1–2, Plate 1

Antennarius caudimaculatus (non Rüppell). Weber, 1913: 562 (misidentification, ZMA 116.513, Aru Islands).

Lophiocharon sp. —Pietsch & Grobecker, 1987: 224, 231; fig. 91 (five specimens, probably representing an undescribed species).

Type material. HOLOTYPE: WAM P.27673-002, 43 mm, James Price Point , 55 km north of Broome, Western Australia, 17°26'S 122°10'E, rotenone, 31 July 1982 GoogleMaps . PARATYPES: AMS I.15557-283, 2 (47–49 mm), Gulf of Carpentaria , Queensland, 17°00'S 140°16'E GoogleMaps ; WAM P.24486, 33 mm, Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia , July 1973 ; AMS I.34780-001, 14 mm, Lee Point , Darwin Country, Northern Territory, 12°20'S 130°53'E GoogleMaps , SCUBA, 3.0 m, 11 July 1993 ; WAM P.31884-001, 31 mm, south of Bluff Point , Enderby Island , Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, 20°40.9'S 116°33.2'E, box dredge on sandy mud, sponge, and seagrass, 9.0– 9.2 m, 23 July 1999 GoogleMaps ; WAM P.28416-015, 2 (19–29 mm), Gantheaume Point , Broome, Western Australia, 17°58'S 122°10'E, rotenone, 2–5 m, 13 September 1982 GoogleMaps ; ZMA 116.513 View Materials , 18 View Materials mm, anchorage off Jedan Island , Aru Islands, Indonesia, Weber, 1899 .

Diagnosis. A member of the genus Lophiocharon , as recognized by Pietsch & Grobecker (1987), unique among its congeners in having a combination of character states that includes a reduced esca (scarcely, if at all differentiated from the illicium) and a relatively short illicium ( Fig. 1), covered from base to tip with small dermal spinules (Plate 1).

Description. Illicium with a single tiny distal filament; length of illicium 9.6–12.9% SL; length of second dorsalfin spine 14.4–15.8% SL; length of third dorsal-fin spine 19.7–23.4% SL; distance between bases of illicium and second dorsal-fin spine 6.5–7.6% SL; diameter of eye 5.2– 7.7% SL; dorsal rays 13; anal rays 7; pectoral rays 9. Plate 1. Lophiocharon hutchinsi n.sp., holotype, WAM P.27673-002, 43 mm, James Price Point,

55 km north of Broome , Western Australia, 17°26'S 122°10'E, rotenone, 31 July 1982 GoogleMaps .

All known specimens in light-colour phase: cream, beige, light yellow-brown to brown overall; dorsal and lateral surfaces, including fins, everywhere covered with speckles and mottling of darker brown, especially dense on face around eye; basidorsal spot and light-coloured bar across base of caudal fin absent; illicium without banding; one or two dark circular spots on side of body above and/or slightly behind base of pectoral-fin lobe (similar to those found in other species of the genus, e.g., L. trisignatus ; see Pietsch & Grobecker, 1987: 225, fig. 92); dark streak sometimes radiating out from eye; caudal ocelli faint, discernible only in largest known specimens (Plate 1).

Additional description as given for the genus.

Etymology. Named for Barry Hutchins, Curator of Fishes, Western Australian Museum, Perth, for providing most of the material on which this new species is based, and for his many contributions to Australian ichthyology.

Distribution. All nine known specimens of L. hutchinsi were taken in northern Australian and southern New Guinean waters: five specimens from Western Australia, at Exmouth Gulf, the Dampier Archipelago, and Broome; one from Northern Territory, at Lee Point, near Darwin; two from Queensland in the Gulf of Carpentaria; and one from the Aru Islands in the Arafura Sea.

Comments. Lophiocharon hutchinsi is clearly distinguished from L. trisignatus in lacking a distinct esca and in having a shorter, spiny illicium (see Fig. 1). On the other hand, the only feature that separates it from L. lithinostomus is its considerably shorter illicium (9.6–12.9% SL vs. 21.6– 36.4% SL). Because all nine known specimens of L. hutchinsi are small (less than 50 mm SL) and all known individuals of L. lithinostomus are relatively large (54–91 mm SL), it might be argued that L. hutchinsi simply represents juvenile specimens of the latter. However, if this were true it would necessitate an extremely rapid ontogenetic increase in illicial length, the evidence for which is lacking in all other lophiiform fishes for which adequate material has been studied. It should be pointed out also that as presently understood L. lithinostomus and L. hutchinsi are allopatric: the former ranges from North Borneo to the Sulu Archipelago and the Philippines, whereas the latter is known only from northern Australia and the Aru Islands ( Fig. 2). The third known species of Lophiocharon , L. trisignatus , is sympatric with both its congeners, ranging from tropical Australia to the Philippines.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. I thank Jeff Leis (AMS) and Martin Gomon (Museum Victoria, Melbourne) for inviting me to take part in this project, and Mark McGrouther (AMS) and Barry Hutchins and Sue Morrison (WAM) for providing specimens and locality data.


Western Australian Museum














Lophiocharon hutchinsi

Pietsch, Theodore W. 2004

Antennarius caudimaculatus

Weber, M 1913: 562