Plectranthias hinano, Shepherd & Phelps & Pinheiro & Rocha & Rocha, 2020

Shepherd, Bart, Phelps, Tyler A. Y., Pinheiro, Hudson T., Rocha, Claudia R. & Rocha, Luiz A., 2020, Two new species of Plectranthias (Teleostei, Serranidae, Anthiadinae) from mesophotic coral ecosystems in the tropical Central Pacific, ZooKeys 941, pp. 145-161: 145

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Plectranthias hinano

sp. nov.

Plectranthias hinano   sp. nov. Figures 4 View Figure 4 , 5 View Figure 5 , Table 1 Hinano’s Perchlet

Type locality.

Tahiti, French Polynesia


CAS 247195, field code: HTP909, GenBank MN922329. 49.6 mm SL, Tahiti, French Polynesia, 17°29'27"S, 149°28'01"W, depth of collection 98 m, collected with hand nets by B Shepherd, HT Pinheiro, TAY Phelps, MV Bell, and LA Rocha, 03 March 2019 (Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ).


USNM 445723, field code: TAH007, GenBank MN922328. 28.0 mm SL, Tahiti, French Polynesia, 17°36'59"S, 149°37'13"W, depth of collection 90 m, collected with hand nets by B Shepherd, HT Pinheiro, TAY Phelps, MV Bell, and LA Rocha, 28 February 2019.


Plectranthias hinano   sp. nov. can be distinguished from all of its congeners by the following combination of characters: dorsal-fin rays X, 15, the last branched to base and counted as one; pectoral fin rays 11 or 12; vertebrae 10+16; lateral line complete with 29-30 tubed scales; gill rakers 7-8+12-13; ventral margin of preopercle with three antrorse spines; snout moderately long, 3.0-3.2 in HL, 12.3-14.2% SL, overall red coloration with two indistinct black spots along the base of dorsal fin, translucent yellow dorsal and anal-fin membranes.


Proportional measurements for the type specimens are presented in Table 1. Dorsal-fin rays X, 15; last soft ray branched to base and counted as one; first dorsal spine very short, 17.6 in SL (9.4); fourth dorsal spine longest, 5.5 in SL (third dorsal spine longest, 6.4 in SL); dorsal-fin base length 2.1 in SL (1.9); anal-fin rays III, 7; last soft ray branched to base and counted as one; anal-fin base 6.2 in SL (5.3); second anal spine longest and stoutest at 2.0 in HL (2.1); anal-fin origin at vertical beneath fourth dorsal-fin ray; pectoral-fin rays 11 (12), all unbranched, length 2.8 in SL (2.6); pelvic fin I, 5; pelvic-fin length 4.6 in SL (4.0); pelvic-spine length 2.4 in HL (2.3); caudal-fin procurrent rays 6+5; caudal-fin principal rays 9+8.

Body moderately elongate, laterally compressed; depth of body 2.9 in SL (3.0); width of body 2.1 in depth (2.4); head length 2.4 in SL (2.5); snout length 3.0 in HL (3.2); bony interorbital width 3.5 in snout length (2.3); orbit diameter 3.7 in HL (3.5); post-orbital head length 5.4 in SL (5.6); least depth of caudal-peduncle 3.7 in HL (3.4); caudal-peduncle length 4.0 in SL (4.1).

Scales ctenoid; lateral line complete and broadly arched over pectoral fin following body contour; 29 (30) tubed scales; scales above lateral line to origin of dorsal fin 3; scales above lateral line to base of middle dorsal spine 2; scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin 12; diagonal rows of scales on cheek 4; scales on top of head extending anteriorly to vertical from center of eye; area on top of head between eyes with scales; no scales on chin, maxilla, or snout; circumpeduncular scales 12; gill rakers 8+13 (7+12); vertebrae 10+16; supraneurals 3; anterior supraneural-dorsal ray-pterygiophore-neural spine interdigitation pattern: 0/0+0/2/1+1/1.

Mouth large and terminal, slightly upturned; lower jaw protrudes slightly; maxilla expanded posteriorly, extending to below the posterior edge of pupil; upper jaw with one fixed, stout canine on either side of symphysis; upper canines flanked internally by villiform band with 7-9 irregular rows of depressible, smaller, sharp-tipped teeth; inner rows become progressively longer, innermost row with largest teeth; lower jaw has one large, fixed canine on either side of lower jaw, roughly at midpoint, followed by smaller, depressible, sharp-tipped conical teeth in a villiform band of 4-6 irregular rows, innermost teeth same size as outer rows; vomer roughly V-shaped band of two rows of similarly-sized, sharp-tipped, conical teeth; palatines with one row of small, sharp-tipped conical teeth anteriorly, two rows posteriorly; tongue small, slender, pointed, and without teeth.

Opercle with three flat spines, the middle spine the longest; preopercle with 22 (12) small spines (serrae) along posterior margin; ventral (inferior) margin of preopercle with three antrorse spines; interopercle with no spines; subopercle smooth, with one spine on inferior margin; anterior nostrils positioned closer to eye than to snout, each with a small rounded flap rising from anterior rim; posterior nostrils an elliptical opening at anterior border of orbit.

Color in life.

Body: overall light red in color; chest and belly mostly light red to pink; dorsal portion of body darker red with yellow along scale margins and lateral line; series of 8-12 pink to white incomplete bars on the body, originating just behind orbit and continuing to base of caudal fin; bars are approximately 20 degrees off of vertical anteriorly, becoming near vertical as they approach base of caudal fin; black spot, almost twice the diameter of orbit, at base of spinous dorsal-fin spines 7-10 and soft rays 1-5, continuing slightly more than halfway up membrane of spinous dorsal; black spot is interrupted by the near-vertical white bar originating below soft rays 1 or 2; smaller second black spot, slightly smaller than orbit, located at base of soft dorsal rays 11-15. Head: snout, throat, anterior portion of lower lip, maxilla, and operculum mostly light pink; yellow stripe originating at snout, proceeding across maxilla, below orbit to preopercle; lattice-like network of indistinct yellow stripes radiating outward from pupil across iris, between eyes, across top of head, from ventral margin of orbit to origin of lateral line and lower margin of operculum; iris mostly pink with yellow splotches radiating outward from pupil; pupil black and teardrop-shaped, pointed anteriorly. Fins: spinous portion of dorsal fin predominantly translucent yellow, with upper half of black spot on membrane between spines 7-10; lower third of soft dorsal fin mostly translucent yellow, upper two-thirds hyaline; caudal-fin membranes mostly hyaline with some regions a faint transparent yellow, fin rays white with red margins; pelvic fins hyaline with faint yellow on rays; anal fin mostly translucent yellow with hyaline margins; pectoral fins hyaline with rays outlined in pink; base of pectoral fins yellow. Freshly dead specimens exhibit similar coloration, with slightly more yellow on head, body, and fins (Fig. 4A View Figure 4 ).

Color in alcohol.

Light tan overall, with dark brown stippling in vertical bands along lateral sides of body, darkest brown along base of dorsal fin at location of black spots.


Plectranthias hinano   sp. nov. is named after Teurumereariki Hinano Teavai Murphy, former associate director of the University of California Berkeley Gump Research Station and president of the cultural association Te Pu Atitia, in honor of the significant contributions she has made supporting Polynesian biocultural heritage and field research in Moorea, French Polynesia. The name is a noun in the genitive case.

Distribution and habitat.

The two specimens described in this paper, plus an individual that was retained for public aquarium exhibition, were collected respectively in Tahiti and Moorea, French Polynesia. A similar species was photographed at 120 m depth in Erikub Atoll, Republic of Marshall Islands, however specimens were not retained (Fig. 5B View Figure 5 ). The Marshall Islands specimens lack the black markings along the dorsal-fin base, and thus more closely resemble Plectranthias bennetti   (Fig. 5C View Figure 5 ), indicating that the latter may have a wider Pacific distribution and not just be restricted to the Coral Sea. All known individuals of P. hinano   sp. nov. have been observed or collected in highly complex habitats on walls and ledges within MCEs (Fig. 3 View Figure 3 ), suggesting that the species does not inhabit shallow coral reefs.


The most similar barcode fragment of the mtDNA COI gene to Plectranthias hinano   sp. nov. is P. bennetti   from the Coral Sea (5.5% uncorrected pairwise genetic distance). Morphologically, it can be distinguished from P. bennetti   by having a longer snout (3.0-3.2 in HL vs. 4.4 in P. bennetti   ), a larger orbit (3.5-3.7 in HL vs. 4.1 in P. bennetti   ), in the number of circumpeduncular scales (12 vs. 14 in P. bennetti   ), the number of gill rakers (7-8 + 12-13, vs. 5+13 in P. bennetti   ), and in coloration (by having two indistinct black spots along the base of the dorsal fin, and yellow dorsal and anal fin membranes).