Sympterichthys Gill

Last, Peter R. & Gledhill Csiro, Daniel C., 2009, A revision of the Australian handfishes (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae), with descriptions of three new genera and nine new species 2252, Zootaxa 2252 (1), pp. 1-77 : 50

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.2252.1.1

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Sympterichthys Gill


Sympterichthys Gill

Sympterichthys Gill, 1878: 221 . Type species. Lophius laevis Lacepède, 1804 (= Chironectes unipennis Cuvier, 1817 ) by original designation.

Definition. Sympterichthys is unique among brachionichthyids in having the following combination of features: body relatively deep, depth 37–47% SL at second dorsal-fin origin; head strongly compressed in cross section and elongate, length 46–55% SL; caudal peduncle short, 2–6% SL; illicium slender, short to moderate in length (2.1–3.0 in head length), usually 2–3 times length of esca when present; skin surface rough, almost completely covered with spiny scales but lacking wart-like protuberances and dermal appendages; scale bases embedded, irregular in shape; spinules simple and/or bifurcate, adpressed, directed posteriorly, originating at posterior margin of scale base, partly embedded, their tips protruding slightly above skin surface; sensory scales not strongly demarcated; body plain or weakly marbled, without a strong or vivid colour pattern; pectoral-fin rays 7–9; anal-fin rays 7–9; vertebrae 21–22.

Species. Presently contains two valid nominal species: Sympterichthys moultoni sp. nov., and S. unipennis ( Cuvier, 1817) .

Remarks. The most obvious characters defining Sympterichthys are the strongly compressed head and body, a simple colour pattern, rough skin with a dense coverage of bifurcate scales and no dermal appendages. Another new genus Thymichthys is similar but its two currently recognised species are largely covered with smooth warty skin (spiny scales are sometimes present but sparse and usually almost fully embedded), the head and body are more robust (almost subtriangular in cross section), dermal flaps and filaments are distributed over the body and fins, and the coloration is bright or strongly patterned. These groups have either monospinulate or bicuspid scales with adpressed spinules originating at the posterior margin of their bases (rather than medially). Both species of Thymichthys have been included in Sympterichthys by past authors (e.g. Paxton et al., 2006).












Sympterichthys Gill

Last, Peter R. & Gledhill Csiro, Daniel C. 2009


Gill, T. N. 1878: 221
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