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Free Content Elevation of Spicomacrurus (Gadiformes: Macrouridae) to Generic Status, with Descriptions of Two New Species from the Southwestern Pacific

Spicomacrurus, formerly classified as a subgenus of Hymenogadus, is elevated to full generic status after the discovery of two new species from the southwestern Pacific. The following synapomorphies characterizing the genus are not shared with either Hymenogadus or Hymenocephalus, although Spicomacrurus obviously belongs within this clade of grenadiers: net-like pattern of black epithelium covering gular region; elongate posterior dermal window of light organ; membranous flange on distal portion of outer pelvic fin ray; and protruding snout formed by three broad horizontally flattened processes of the nasal bones. Spicomacrurus dictyogadus sp. nov. is described from one collected off Vanuatu in 657–685 m. It can be distinguished by its relatively deep and compressed body and head, greatest body width about 2 times into greatest depth; suborbital depth about 3.5 into orbit diameter; and scale rows below origin of second dorsal fin 5½. Spicomacrurus mccoskeri sp. nov. is described from six specimens collected off Chesterfield Plateau in 650–710 m. It can be distinguished by its shallow, cylindrical body and head, greatest body width slightly less than greatest depth; suborbital depth 5–6 into orbit diameter; and scale rows below origin of second dorsal fin 3½. A key to all four species of Spicomacrurus is provided.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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