Neobythites steatiticus Alcock, 1894

Uiblein, Franz & Nielsen, Jørgen G., 2018, Review of the steatiticus - species group of the cuskeel genus Neobythites (Ophidiidae) from the Indo-Pacific, with description of two new species, Zootaxa 4387 (1), pp. 157-173: 165-169

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4387.1.7

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:45B4B1FD-5DC6-4D13-9470-B729013E2D8E

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/6570D216-FFF8-8F3E-FF69-E2B634FA52E5

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Neobythites steatiticus Alcock, 1894
status

 

Neobythites steatiticus Alcock, 1894  

( Figures 1–3 View FIGURE 1 View FIGURE 2 View FIGURE 3 , Tables 1–3)

Neobythites steatiticus Alcock, 1894: 181   , pl. IX

Neobythites steatiticus: Norman 1939: 76   (non steatiticus   ); Nielsen 1995: 11 and 2002: 84 (in part); Jawad 2014: 1 (non steatiticus   ).

Holotype. ZSI 13435 View Materials (female, 129 mm SL), Bay of Bengal , NE Indian Ocean, 15°4'7'' N, 80°25'7'' E, RV Investigator   , st. 137, Agassiz trawl, 234 m depth, 3 Mar. 1893. GoogleMaps  

Non-types (n = 5, 113– 162 mm SL). BMNH 1895.1.3.3 (former ZSI 13477 View Materials ), (female, 143 mm SL), Bay of Bengal, 13°1'6'' N, 80°36'56'' E, RV Investigator   , st. 170, Agassiz trawl, 193 m depth, 16 Feb. 1894 GoogleMaps   ; USNM 46756 (former ZSI 13475), (female, 113 mm SL), USNM 256238 View Materials (former ZSI 13474 View Materials ), (female, 127 mm SL), and BMNH 1895.1.3.4 (female, 114 mm SL), Bay of Bengal , 13°51'12'' N, 80°28'12'' E, RV Investiga tor, st. 162, Agassiz trawl, 261–450 m depth, 30 Jan. 1894 GoogleMaps   ; ZMUC P 771752 (unripe, 162 mm SL), off Myanmar, 16°27' N 93°57' E, RV Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, st. 42, bottom trawl, 274–277 m depth, 6 May 2015 GoogleMaps   .

……continued on the next page Tentatively referred. Tuticorin Research Center, Tamil Nadu, India, 2, 178– 180 mm SL, Gulf of Manar, 8°44'46'' N, 78°37'24'' E, bottom trawl, 200–250 m depth, 22 Feb. 2010. GoogleMaps  

Diagnosis. (Tentatively referred specimens from Gulf of Mannar not included). 0–1 weak spine on hind margin of preopercle; dorsal fin-rays 88–94; anal-fin rays 73–77; pectoral fin-rays 24–27; precaudal vertebrae 12; total vertebrae 53–57; pseudobranchial filaments 2–3; long gill rakers on anterior arch 11–14; head length 28.0– 31.0 % SL; pelvic-fin length 14.0–15.0 % SL, pelvic fins not reaching anus; orbit length 4.8–5.2 % SL, 16.0–18.5 % head length, and 2.3–2.8 times in upper-jaw length; longest gill filament 4.4–5.9 % SL and 15.0–19.0 % head length; ocellus spot placed well behind a vertical line through anus, the ocellus-spot distance being 46.0–51.5 % SL, and the spot covering 7–10 dorsal-fin rays; median part of anal-fin dark and distal and proximal parts light; dorsal fin mostly unpigmented; up to 6 broad, rather distinct dark vertical bars on body; otolith length 5.0–5.2 % SL, sulcus length 3.6–3.7 % SL, and ostium height 21.0–24.5 % sulcus length.

Distribution. Known from both sides of the Bay of Bengal, NE Indian Ocean, at 193–450 m depth.

Remarks. According to Alcock (1899) ZSI held the holotype and eight additional specimens, five of which are here examined. Kannan et al. (2013:1) published the first record in Indian waters of Neobythites stefanovi   . However, the illustration shows more resemblance to N. steatiticus   so we treat it here as tentatively referred to N. steatiticus   . Some specimens that in earlier literature were referred to N. steatiticus   are now transferred to other Neobythites   species: Norman (1939: 76) referred three specimens to N. steatiticus   . Two of these from the Gulf of Aden have been transferred to N. stefanovi   and one from off Zanzibar to N. kenyaensis Nielsen, 1995   . Nielsen (1995: 11 and 2002: 84) mentioned six specimens caught in the Gulf of Oman (all from BMNH) which now are referred to N. gloriae   n. sp.

The specimen collected during the RV Dr. Fridtjov Nansen cruise off Myanmar represents the first record from the eastern Bay of Bengal. The photo taken on board immediately after capture is the first to document fresh colour of the species ( Figure 1G View FIGURE 1 2 View FIGURE 2 ). It reveals considerable similarity with ocellus, fin and body colour patterns shown in two different drawings of N. steatiticus   provided by Alcock (1893, 1898) based on shortly preserved specimens. The slightly larger ocellus of the specimen from off Myanmar (10 vs. 7–9 dorsal-fin rays covered by the spot) contributes to the distinction of N. steatiticus   from N. gloriae   n. sp. ( Figure 3 View FIGURE 3 , Tables 2–3).

Jawad (2014) reported N. steatiticus   from the Arabian Gulf off Iraq. However, judging from the dark blotch near the origin of the dorsal fin (vs. no anterior blotch), the position of the mid-body ocellus above or in front of anus (vs. well behind anus), and head length (21.5 vs. 28.0–31.0 % SL) this is neither a N. steatiticus   nor a member of the steatiticus   species group.

ZMUC

Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Actinopterygii

Order

Ophidiiformes

Family

Ophidiidae

Genus

Neobythites

Loc

Neobythites steatiticus Alcock, 1894

Uiblein, Franz & Nielsen, Jørgen G. 2018
2018
Loc

Neobythites steatiticus: Norman 1939 : 76

Norman 1939 : 76
Nielsen 1995 : 11
Jawad 2014 : 1