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Redescription of the Indo-West Pacific cardinalfishes (Perciformes: Apogonidae) Rhabdamia spilota Allen & Kuiter 1994 and R. gracilis (Bleeker 1856)



Rhabdamia spilota Allen & Kuiter 1994 (Apogonidae), a poorly known cardinalfish previously known only from the Philippines, Indonesia and the Red Sea, is redescribed on the basis of 70 specimens (20.9–61.2 mm standard length) (including types), from the Indo-West Pacific (Red Sea, Andaman Sea, Japan, South China Sea, the Philippines, Indonesia, New Caledonia, and Australia). Because most reports of the similar species R. gracilis (Bleeker 1856), following its original description, were based on misidentifications, R. gracilis is also redescribed (based on 98 Indo-West Pacific specimens from Seychelles, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Caledonia, and Australia, 27.9–59.3 mm standard length); a lectotype is designated for it. Rhabdamia spilota differs from R. gracilis in having 27–33 (mode 30–31) developed gill rakers [vs. 22–27 (mode 24) in the latter], 27–33 (30) gill rakers including rudiments [vs. 23–27 (24–25)], a black stripe from the jaw tips to the anterior margin of the orbit (vs. black pigments only at snout and tip of lower jaw), 3–6 reddish brown to blackish blotches on the opercle and anterior of body (vs. blotches absent), and indistinct black pigment restricted to caudal fin outer margins (vs. pigment scattered over entire fin). Rhabdamia gracilis exhibits sexual dichromatism, female specimens larger than 41.3 mm SL having one or two black stripes on the lateral surface of the body; the stripes are absent in males and smaller females. No evidence of sexual dichromatism was found in R. spilota.



Perciformes, Teleostei, new records, distribution, taxonomy, identification

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa