Upeneus gubal, Uiblein & Gledhill & Pavlov & Hoang & Shaheen, 2019

Uiblein, Franz, Gledhill, Daniel C., Pavlov, Dimitri A., Hoang, Tuan Anh & Shaheen, Shaker, 2019, Three new goatfishes of the genus Upeneus (Mullidae) from the Indo-Pacific, with a redescription of colour patterns in U. margarethae, Zootaxa 4683 (2), pp. 151-196 : 172-180

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Upeneus gubal

n. sp.

Upeneus gubal n. sp. Uiblein

Gubal goatfish

( Figures 1 View FIGURE 1 , 5 View FIGURE 5 , 7 View FIGURE7 ; Tables 1, 5, 6)

Holotype. MNHN 2011-1515 View Materials , adult, 86 mm SL, WIO, Red Sea, Gulf of Suez, Strait of Gubal , N of Gubal Island, 27° 49’ 59” N, 33° 43’ 1” E, 70 m depth, 28 Dec. 1928, collector Robert P. Dollfus. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis. Dorsal fins VIII + 9, the first spine minute; pectoral fins 15; gill rakers 6 + 19 = 25; lateral-line scales 28–29; measurements in % SL: body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 24; body depth at anus 21; caudal-peduncle depth 11; caudal-peduncle width 3.3; maximum head depth 20; head depth through eye 16; suborbital depth 9.0; interorbital length 8.2; head length 29; snout length 11; postorbital length 11; orbit length 7.4; upper-jaw length 11; barbel length 19; interdorsal distance 16; caudal-peduncle length 24; caudal-fin length 31; anal-fin height 19; pelvic-fin length 22; pectoral-fin length 22; pectoral-fin width 4.8; first dorsal-fin height 22; second dorsal-fin height 19; preserved colour pale brown.

Description. Measurements in % SL and counts are given in Table 1; morphometric data as ratios of SL for holotype: body elongate, body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 4.2, body depth at anal-fin origin 4.8, head length 3.4, larger than maximum body depth and subequal to caudal-fin length (3.2); second dorsal-fin height 5.2, shallower than first dorsal fin (4.4) and similar to barbel length (5.4); pelvic-fin length 4.5, equal to length of pectoral fins (4.5) and similar to body depth at first dorsal-fin origin; caudal-peduncle depth 9.2, much larger than orbit length (14); and caudal-peduncle width 30, much narrower than pectoral-fin width (21).

Colour. Preserved fish. ( Figure 7 D View FIGURE7 ). Body and head entirely pale brown, with brown patches or blotches on head below and behind eyes and on anterior ventral side of body; barbels pale creamy; no remains of dark pigmentation deriving from caudal-fin bars, dark mid-lateral dots, saddle behind second dorsal fin, or second dorsal-fin distal stripe; fins pale brown, partly hyaline.

Etymology. Named after the type locality which is situated close to Gubal Island and in the Strait of Gubal at the southern entrance to the Gulf of Suez, Northern Red Sea. The name “ gubal ” is used as a noun in apposition.

Distribution, habitat and size. Single locality off Gubal Island, S Gulf of Suez, Northern Red Sea; fish caught by trawling at 70 m depth, most probably on sandy or muddy bottom; size of the specimen is 8.7 cm SL.

Remarks. Fresh colour of Upeneus gubal n. sp. is yet unknown, but the available morphological evidence strongly suggests its inclusion in the margarethae group (see also the Interspecific comparisons section further below). The single type specimen was collected together with a specimen of Upeneus moluccensis (Bleeker, 1855) (registered as MNHN 2011-0093). The latter did not show any remains of dark pigmentation e.g. of first dorsal-fin tip and oblique bars on upper caudal-fin lobe as indicated to be diagnostic for preserved conspecifics ( Uiblein & Heemstra 2010). The single known locality of U. gubal n. sp. in the S Gulf of Suez is about 1100 km north of the northernmost currently known occurrence of U. margarethae off Ibn Abbas Island, S coast of Sudan.