Journal article Open Access

Redescription of the cardinalfish Apogonichthyoides maculipinnis (Percomorpha: Apogonidae: Apogoninae) from the Maldives, last collected 118 years ago

Fraser, Thomas H.

Apogonichthyoides maculipinnis, a deeper-dwelling cardinalfish, is redescribed from the holotype and a second specimen collected recently, including a live color photograph. Both Regan’s holotype, collected in April 1900, and the new specimen were collected at the same atoll in the Maldives. Diagnostic color features include: a dark wedge-shaped bar extending from the bottom of the eye past the end of the maxilla, followed by a wide pale area on cheek, bordered above with a short wedge-shaped stripe from the rear edge of the iris ending in a dark vertical bar along the rim of the preopercle; rows of small brown dots, one per scale, in three rows, uppermost along the lateral line, middle along the lateral midline from behind the opercle flap to mid-caudal peduncle, the third parallel to the second, from behind the pectoral fin to above the middle of the anal fin; a large dark blotch on the distal membranes of the third and fourth dorsal-fin spines; and a small dark-brown spot on the body at the base of the last two branched dorsal-fin rays. The combination of these color patterns distinguishes Apogonichthyoides maculipinnis from other congeners, in particular A. umbratilis and A. gardineri, which share the dark mark on the first dorsal fin and darkish bar-like marks on the body but lack the numerous brown spots on the head and body.

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