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A new pygmy hogfish (Labridae: Bodianus) of the subgenus Trochocopus from the tropical southern Pacific Ocean

Gomon, Martin F.; Walsh, Fenton

Bodianus bennetti, n. sp. is described from a single specimen collected at 97 m depth at Flora Reef in the Coral Sea off the Queensland coast of Australia, as well as from images of individuals from Moorea, French Polynesia. The new hogfish is a member of the subgenus Trochocopus, whose members frequent deep-reef habitats, and are amongst the smallest species of this speciose labrid genus. The new species closely resembles two red-striped species, the Western Pacific B. neopercularis and the Indian Ocean B. opercularis, differing from them in consistently lacking a continuation of the ventral red body stripe onto the head. The species was first noticed by the prominent lemon-yellow rather than white intervening stripes (between the red stripes) in the first specimens, although subsequently the stripe color was observed to vary from lemon-yellow to white in the same individual. The mtDNA COI barcode sequence of the new species is compared to one of these two closely related species and five additional members of the subgenus, revealing the new species to be 4.3% divergent (K2P and uncorrected pairwise) from its nearest-neighbor sequence, B. neopercularis (based on a specimen from Micronesia).

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