The labrid fish Xyrichtys halsteadi n. sp., is described from nine specimens from New Guinea, Mariana Islands, and Wake Island, collected at depths of 21–49 m on sand or sand and rubble bottom. The species is also known from underwater photographs taken in the Society Islands.
Xyrichtys halsteadi is distinct from the one other described species of the genus in the Indo-Pacific, the Hawaiian Xyrichtys woodi, in having the first two dorsal spines flexible (one in woodi), a more elongate body (depth 3.1–3.35 in standard length, compared to
2.7–2.8 for woodi), and in color. Juveniles and females of X. halsteadi are whitish with a red band from above eye to back at base of dorsal fin; males are more colorful, featuring a pale-edged black spot on the seventh lateral-line scale and scales in the next row below.
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