Owstonia maccullochi Whitley

Smith-Vaniz, William F. & Johnson, David, 2016, Hidden diversity in deep-water bandfishes: review of Owstonia with descriptions of twenty-one new species (Teleostei: Cepolidae: Owstoniinae), Zootaxa 4187 (1), pp. 1-103 : 62-64

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.4187.1.1

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Owstonia maccullochi Whitley


Owstonia maccullochi Whitley View in CoL

( Figures 51 View FIGURE 51 , 52 View FIGURE 52 )

Owstonia maccullochi Whitley, 1934 View in CoL :[12] (original description; " 30 mi. east of Sydney," New South Wales, Australia; depth 130 fms [238 m]).

Material examined. 24 specimens, 84‒214 mm SL, all from eastern Australia: AMS IA.5815 (156), holotype of Owstonia maccullochi , Australia, NSW, 30 mi E. of Sydney , ca. 33°51'30"S, 152°3'E, 238 m, K. Moller; AMS I.25802‒014 (1, 84) GoogleMaps , Queensland, just N. of Townsville , 17°58'S, 146°59'E, 228 m, 1986; AMS I. 25804‒012 (1, 109) GoogleMaps , Queensland, just N. of Townsville , 17°59'S, 147°3'E, 260 m, 9 Jan. 1986 GoogleMaps ; AMS I. 25806‒012 (1, 141), N. of Townsville , 17°59'S, 147°4'E GoogleMaps –17°57'S,147°1'E, 264 m, 10 Jan. 1986; AMS I.25807‒004 (1, 101), N. of Townsville , 17°58'S, 147°4'E, 300 m, 10 Jan. 1986 GoogleMaps ; AMS I.25812‒004 (1, 95), N. of Townsville , 18°0'S, 147°1'E, 222‒228 m, R/ V Soela sta. S01/86/24, 12 Jan. 1986 GoogleMaps ; AMS I. 25821‒003 (1, 213), N. of Townsville , 17°59'S, 147°1'E, 220 m, R/ V Soela sta. S01/86/42, 15 Jan. 1986; AMS I.37598‒007 (1, 214) GoogleMaps , Queensland, E. of Swain Reefs , 21°48'26"S, 152°59'56"E, L. Lowry and K. Dempsey, 13 Sep. 1995 GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H594‒20 (1, 95), NE of Townsville , 18°10'S, 147°13'E, 240 m, 8 Dec. 1985 GoogleMaps ; CSIRO H649‒11 (1, 114), N. of Townsville , 17°54'S, 147°4'E, 348 m, 29 Nov. 1985 GoogleMaps ; NTM S.11747‒011 (1, 96), Queensland, E. of Dunk Is., 17°58'S, 146°59'E, 224‒228 m, Jan. 1986 GoogleMaps ; NTM S.11756‒003 (1, 178), E. of Dunk Is., 300 m; NTM S.11758‒002 (96), E. of Dunk Is., 220 m; NTM S.11760‒002 (1, 84), E. of Dunk Is., 260 m; NTM S.11765‒001 (146), E. of Dunk Is., 300 m; NTM S.11769‒007 (2, 100‒145), E. Dunk Is., 264 m; NTM S.11772‒001 (2, 101‒156), E. Dunk Is., 300 m; NTM S.11781‒001 (2, 95‒106), E. of Dunk Is., 18°0'S, 147°5'E, 300 m; NTM S.12722‒003 (1, 178), E. of Dunk Is., 300m; AMS I.37598‒007 (1, 214),), Swain Reefs, E. of 21°48'S, 26"S, 152°59'56"E, 13 Sep. 1995; QM I.22039 (1, 75), Swain Reefs, E. of 21°57'S, 153°25'E, 330 m; CSIRO H1113‒10 (1, 178), Queensland, S. of Saumarez Reef , 22°6'S, 153°18'E, 246 m GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. A species of Owstonia with LL pattern type 3; dorsal fin III, 21‒22; anal fin I, 14‒16 (usually 15); cheek scale rows 4‒6; oblique body scale rows in mid-lateral series 53‒54.

Description. A species of Owstonia with LL pattern type 3 ( Figs. 6 View FIGURE 6 C, 6G) consisting of a lateral line that does not contact posttemporal sensory canal near anterodorsal margin of gill opening (although a diagonal row of 2 or 3 scales is typically present on its anterodorsal margin), but instead continues posteriorly just below dorsal-fin base and anteriorly where it makes a complete loop across nape; lateral line ends below dorsal-fin soft rays 17-20. Dorsal fin III, 2 1‒22; anal fin I, 14‒16 (usually 15); pectoral fin 19‒22 (usually 20–21); gill rakers 15‒19 + 31‒35 = 46‒53. Vertebrae: precaudal 11 (exceptionally 12), caudal 17 (exceptionally 16), total 28; anal-fin pterygiophores anterior to 1st haemal spine 2‒3 (usually 2). Oblique body scale rows in mid-lateral series about 53‒54; nape scaly and cheek scale rows 4‒6 ( Fig. 12 View FIGURE 12 G). Lower limb margin of preopercle with 13/15 weak serrations in holotype ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 D) or 7‒12 moderate to strong spines ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 E) in other specimens. Papillae in slight depression behind tip of premaxillary ascending processes 4, arranged in 2 rows, those in posterior row much larger than those in anterior row ( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 C). Teeth in outer row of each premaxilla 12‒18, including some elongate spike-like teeth anteriorly; 0‒2 inner teeth anteriorly. Teeth in lateral row of each dentary 7‒11, some moderately hooked; symphyseal teeth 3‒4, spike-like, and with 0‒2 inner teeth anteriorly. Pelvic fin rays apparently sexually dimorphic, depressed fin extending posteriorly to anal-fin soft rays 3‒5 (presumed females) and soft rays 6‒10 (presumed males). Largest presumed male (AMS I.37598‒007) has tips of the terminal dorsal- and anal-fin soft rays extending beyond base of caudal fin. Caudal fin lanceolate. In 18 specimens, 84‒213 mm SL, caudal fin 1.4‒2.2 times in SL; head 3.0‒4.5 times in SL; body depth at anal-fin origin 3.5‒4.4 times in SL.

Color pattern in alcohol: Adults with dorsal fin uniformly pale; membrane connecting maxilla and premaxilla with prominent black stripe extending to near anterior end of ascending process, and inner membrane covering posterior part of dentary also black. Life coloration unknown.

Proportions of 156 mm SL holotype are given first, followed by those of 12 specimens, 95–214 SL (in parentheses), as percentages of SL: predorsal length 24.8 (21.9‒33.0); preanal length 57.3 (50.5‒55.1); dorsal-fin base 65.2 (59.9‒71.2); anal-fin base 34.0 (34.4‒46.6); pelvic-fin length 39.5 (34.6‒51.4); caudal-fin length 56.0 (46.0‒72.0); body depth at anal-fin origin 28.9 (22.7‒28.8); head length 27.8 (22.4‒33.3); upper jaw length 15.7 (12.4‒18.6); upper jaw depth 6.8 (5.5‒8.9); orbit diameter 11.3 (8.3‒16.1). As percentages of head length: upper jaw length 56.4 (51.4‒69.9); orbit diameter 40.8 (36.9‒51.1).

Comparisons. Owstonia doryptera and O. rhamma , the only other species with LL pattern 3 (although the LL of O. rhamma apparently differs in not making a complete nape loop, see species account) and scaly cheeks, differ (characters of O. maccullochi in parentheses) as follows: both of these allopatric species have fewer dorsal- and anal-fin soft rays (see Table 4), 21 and 14 respectively (vs. typically 22 and 15); O. doryptera has interradial membranes black between 2nd spine and 1st soft ray (vs. interradial membranes of spinous dorsal fin pale) and fewer oblique body scale rows in mid-lateral series about 44‒46 (vs. 53–54); and O. rhamma has 3 rows of cheek scales (vs. 4–6), preopercle spines very reduced (vs. usually moderate to strong spines), lateral line with incomplete nape loop (vs. complete nape loop) and pectoral fin rays 19 (vs. 19‒21, usually 20 or 21).

Etymology. Named for Australian ichthyologist Allen R. McCulloch (1885–1925); see Paxton and McGrouther (1997:193–195) for a brief review of McCulloch's ichthyological contributions and Saunders (2012) for a more detailed account.

Distribution. ( Fig. 22 View FIGURE 22 ) Known only from eastern Australia between latitudes of approximately 18°-34°S where trawled in about 220‒ 348 m.

Remarks. Whitley (1940, fig. 31) illustrated the holotype. The approximate coordinates for the type locality are 33°51'30"S, 152°3'E, assuming Port Jackson as starting point and 30 miles (= nautical miles) east of Sydney Harbour. This locality is about 11 degrees south of our next closest record (22°6'S) of O. maccullochi , with 21 of 24 specimens from Dunk Island vicinity at ca 18°S latitude. Preopercular spines are somewhat variable and difficult to quantify in this species; in the holotype they are very weak, essentially serrations, weak in the larger of two specimens from Swain Reefs vicinity, and moderate to strong in all other specimens.

Contary to Liao et al. (2009:524), Smith-Vaniz (2001) did not synonymize O. maccullochi with O. totomiensis , and only stated that O. maccullochi " may [boldface emphasis ours] be a junior synonym of O. totomiensis ."


Royal Botanic Gardens, National Herbarium of New South Wales


Australian National Fish Collection


Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences














Owstonia maccullochi Whitley

Smith-Vaniz, William F. & Johnson, David 2016

Owstonia maccullochi

Whitley 1934
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