A New Species of Garden Eel from the Eastern Pacific with Comments on Heteroconger Digueti (Pellegrin) and Related Nominal Species
Heteroconger pellegrini n.sp. (Anguilliformes, Congridae, Heterocongrinae) is described from 33 specimens 155–626 mm TL collected in the Gulf of California and Pacific Costa Rica. The species is distinct from its nominal eastern Pacific congeners in having more or less plain overall body color formed from minute, close-set black speckles, a very slender body and 177–192 vertebrae. In H. digueti (Pellegrin), H. canabus (Cowan and Rosenblatt) and H. klausewitzi (Eibl-Eibesfeldt and Köster) the body is tan to dark chocolate color interrupted by white patches anteriorly, the pectoral fin and inner face of the gill opening are very dark brown, and there are different vertebral numbers. In body color the new species closely resembles Gorgasia punctata Meek and Hildebrand, though this is generically distinct in several external features and has 147–157 vertebrae. The smaller of the two syntypes of H. digueti from the Gulf of California is actually H. pellegrini. The larger syntype, designated here as the lectotype of H. digueti, is shown to have a regrown hypural complex and has probably lost 10–12 or more vertebrae. That, and other information on vertebral numbers, has implications for the way in which the species of the “digueti” type are viewed.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 1999
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