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Free Content A Revision of the Indo-Pacific Labrid Fish Genus Macropharyngodon, with Descriptions of Five New Species

The tropical Indo-Pacific labrid genus Macropharyngodon of small (to 125 mm SL) reef fishes is distinctive in its single large molariform tooth of the lower pharyngeal plate (flanked by 1 to 3 small blunt conical teeth), a large canine at the corner of the mouth, a restricted free margin of the preopercle, IX dorsal spines and 11 (12 in one species) dorsal and anal rays, and a continuous lateral line of 27 pored scales. Nine species are recognized (five described as new): geoffroy (Quoy and Gaimard), a blue-spotted Hawaiian endemic with 14 to 16 gill rakers and relatively deep body (depth 2.3–2.6 in SL); cyanoguttatus from Mauritius and RĂ©union, also blue-spotted (the females with whitish caudal fin and yellow dorsally on head and antero-dorsally on body) with 17 or 18 gill rakers; the common meleagris (Valenciennes) in Cuvier and Valenciennes (pardalis, named for the female, is a junior synonym) from the central and western Pacific and Cocos-Keeling in the Indian Ocean, the females whitish with numerous large black spots, the males orange-red with a green spot on each scale, a black spot containing a few smaller yellow spots on shoulder, and green bands on head; ornatus from Indonesia, western Australia, and Sri Lanka, the females orange-red on head, thorax, and abdomen, with greenish yellow bands and spots, shading to blackish over most of body with yellow-green spots (one per scale), the males similar but darker generally; bipartitus Smith from the western Indian Ocean (varialvus, named for the female form, is a junior synonym), the females orange with white spots and a large black area over thorax and abdomen containing a reticulum of bright blue, the males with green bands on head and anteriorly on body and a large “U”-shaped blackish mark in caudal fin (a subspecies, marisrubri, is proposed for the Red Sea population based on different color pattern of the male and a slightly lower gill-raker count); choati from eastern Australia with 13 pectoral rays, distinctively colored white on body with irregular bands and blotches of orange, and a large black blotch topped with yellow on opercle; negrosensis Herre from western Oceania, Philippines, and Ryukus which is blackish on body with small pale spots (females) or scales edged with light greenish (males), the anal and pelvic fins black, the caudal fin abruptly pale (except blackish lobes in males); vivienae, known from a single specimen from Madagascar which is distinctive in having 8 to 18 pores in anterior lateral-line scales (1 to 4 on other species), 13 pectoral rays, and a very large black blotch containing small blue spots in humeral region and a yellow spot dorsally on opercular flap; and kuiteri from eastern Australia and New Caledonia with 12 dorsal and anal soft rays, spatulate teeth, and a large black spot, rimmed in blue, on opercle.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1978

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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