Chaetodon Aya and Related Deep-Living Butterflyfishes: Their Variation, Distribution and Synonymy
Abstract:The phyletic line of the Chaetodontidae here treated seems to comprise four species referable to Chaetodon (falcifer, of the eastern Pacific, from islands off Baja California; aya, of the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic coast of the United States; guyanensis, known from the Antilles and French Guiana; and marcellae, from tropical western Africa) plus the highly modified Prognathodes aculeatus, of the Antillean and Caribbean region, which parallels such Indo-Pacific genera as Forcipiger. Knowledge of this group has been increasing exponentially. All five species live at greater depths than are usually inhabited by chaetodontids. The known captures and observations of these species are tabulated. Their distribution, ecology, meristic variation, and other characters are treated. Seven of the 141 counts of principal caudal rays depart from the normal formula of 9 + 8 = 17: 4 specimens of C. aya and 3 of P. aculeatus have 8 + 8 = 16 rays, and 1 of the 3 counted specimens of C. guyanensis has 9 + 9 = 18 rays, which number is highly aberrant for any percomorph with a forked caudal fin. In having only 4 soft-rays in one pelvic fin, one specimen among 155 counted deviates from the almost invariable pelvic-ray formula, 1, 5, that characterizes almost all percomorphs with well-developed pelvics. Direct observations are added on the life ways of Prognathodes aculeatus and of Chaetodon falcifer.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1963
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