Art. XXI.—Notes on some New Zealand Fishes.
Plates XVIII., XIX.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 22nd September, 1873.]
30. Gasterochisma Melampus, Richardson.
G. melampus, Richardson, Ereb. and Terr., p. 60, pl. 37.
Two specimens of this fish were received at the Colonial Museum last June from Mr. Haldon, of Waikawa, in Otago, and, although they were not in very good condition, the following description of them will prove acceptable.
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B. 4; D. 16 | 1/9- VI.; A. 10. VI.; V. 1/5.
Length about four times that of the head, which is equal to the height of the body; snout one third of the length of the head, and nearly twice the diameter of the eye, pointed, lower jaw longer; head compressed; opercular apparatus very weak; præoperculum not covered with skin, free posteriorly; scales moderate, delicate, deciduous, cycloid; dorsal spines nearly half as long as the head, weak; finlets broad and rounded; caudal deeply forked; ventrals one and a half times as long as the head, reaching to the anus, the rays divided to the base; pectorals less than half the length of the head.
Above steel blue, with 6–8 vertical blackish bands; below silvery; a silvery spot on the base of the caudal; dorsal and anal white; ventrals black; caudal blackish, edged outwardly with white.
Kathelostoma monopterygium (Cat. Fish. N.Z., p. 23, No. 34).
An examination of several fresh specimens of our Cat-fish has enabled me to recognize two distinct species at present confounded under this name. One of these is certainly the Uranoscopus maculosus of Solander, and the other is, I think, the Uranoscopus maculatus of Forster. The first has a filament in the mouth, while the second has not; still they are so closely related that I think it unadvisable to place them in distinct genera, and I adhere to my
former opinion that it is preferable to keep them both in Kathetostoma. Dr. Haast has proposed (Trans. N.Z. Inst., V., p. 274) to establish another genus for the Cat-fish with a filament; but Kathetostoma was not separated from Anema by Dr. Günther on account of its having extra spines on the præoperculum, mandibula, and throat, as Dr. Haast supposes, but because it is naked, while Anema possesses minute scales. As, however, both our Cat-fishes have minute scales, while one has a filament in its mouth and the other has not, it seems to me impossible to keep up this distinction. The adoption of Dr. Haast's suggestion would necessitate the separation of our Cat-fish into two genera, and add a third genus, where, I think, one is sufficient. I cannot, therefore, agree with his views.
34A. Kathetostoma Maculosa.
Uranoscopus maculosus, Solander, Pisc. Austr., M.SS., p. 21 (1770). Uranos-copus maculatus, Richardson, Ereb. and Terr. Fishes, p. 54, pl. 33, f. 1–3, nec. U. maculatus, Forster.
D. 18; A. 17; P. 17; V. 5.
Length three and a quarter times that of the head, which is nine times the diameter of the eye; interorbital space twice the diameter of the eye; a filament in the mouth below the tongue.
Brown above, with large distinct pale spots on the back and sides; pectoral fins margined with white and dusky on the inside; caudal whitish, with a broad brown vertical band in the middle, and tipped with reddish.
General length 7 or 8 inches, sometimes reaching 11 inches.
The humeral and præorbital spines are sharper and more developed than in the next species, showing that it is not the young.
34B. Kathetostoma Monopterygium.
Uranoscopus maculatus, J. R. Forster, apud Schn., p. 49, An. 1801. Anema monopterygium, Günther, Cat. Fish Brit. Mus., II., p. 230.
D. 20; A. 18; P. 17; V. 5.
Length three and three quarter times that of the head, which is twelve times the diameter of the eye; interorbital space two and three quarter times the diameter of the eye; no filament in the mouth.
Brownish olivaceous above, with numerous small, often indistinct, pale spots on the back, which are larger on the sides; pectoral fins not margined with white, and the inside mottled with olivaceous and brown; caudal reddish, marbled with olivaceous brown.
General length about 16 inches, sometimes reaching 24 inches.
The granulations on the cranial plates are of quite a different character to those of the last species, and are much more obscure. The pores on the inferior margin of the præoperculum are proportionally much larger, and the
cirri on the lips, especially the upper lip, are much more developed; the lateral line also is far more difficult to distinguish.
36b. Leptoscopus Macropygus, Richardson.
D. 32; A. 37; P. 19; L. lat. 90 (45); L. trans. 13 | 14.
Length three and three quarter times that of the head, or nearly six times the height of the body; head rather broader than long; interorbital space two and a half times the diameter of the eye; pectorals much shorter than the head; no humeral spine.
Upper part of the head, body, and chin olive, spotted with dark grey; lower surface,. ventrals, anal, lower part of pectorals, and middle part of caudal pinkish white; upper part of tail yellowish, with large dark grey blotches; lateral line, upper part of pectorals, and upper and lower portions of caudal dark grey; præoperculum and below the chin yellowish.
A single specimen, 11 inches in length, was obtained by Dr. Hector last April in the Greymouth lagoon.
36c. Leptoscopus (?) Angusticeps, sp. nov.
B. 6; D. 33; A. 40; P. 22; L. lat. 104 (52).
Length four and a half times that of the head, or eight times the height of the body; length of the head one a half times its breadth; interorbital space less than twice the diameter of the eye; head not cuirassed, and without ridges, covered with skin; eyes on the upper angles of the head, hardly vertical; teeth in villiform bands on both jaws, and a few on the palatine bones; vomer apparently smooth; upper and lower lips with cirri; pectorals four fifths of the length of the head.
Above pale olivaceous grey, with numerous small dark grey spots, which are closer together on the top of the head; below white; a band of silvery from the chin through the opercles and the sides below the lateral line to the caudal.
Greymouth lagoon, April, 1873. Dr. Hector.
Several specimens about 13 inches in total length.
In the form of the head and the position of the eyes this species approaches Trachinus, but in other respects it more nearly resembles Leptoscopus. The lateral line is continuous, and there is no humeral spine.
83c. Rhombosola Tapirina, Günther (?).
D. 65; A. 48; V. 6; P. dext. 9; sinist. 10.
Length two and a quarter times that of the head, or rather more than two and a half times the height of the body; eyes on the left side, the lower in advance; mouth narrow, the maxillary not quite reaching to the eye; small teeth in a single band on the blind side only, none on the vomer or
palate; snout a quarter the length of the head; upper jaw without a notch; cutaneous fold half as long as the snout; eyes divided by a narrow ridge; gill openings as in R. monopus; scales small, cycloid; lateral line straight. Dorsal and anal rays not branched; dorsal commences at the end of the cutaneous fold, and terminates at a distance from the caudal, which is contained two and a half times in the least depth of the tail; middle ray less than half the length of the head; caudal slightly rounded; left pectoral nearly three fifths the length of the head, right much shorter; one ventral, continuous with the anal; vent on the blind side.
Left side brownish, blotched with black; right side yellowish white.
This specimen agrees very well with Dr. Günther's description of R. tapirina, except that the eyes are on the left instead of the right side, which may be an accidental variety. The fish described by me under this name in the Trans. N.Z. Inst. (V., p. 268, 83b) evidently belongs to another species, and it can be distinguished from the present one by its small cutaneous fold, the broad interorbital space, its large and deeply sunken scales, and by its general form. It may be called Rhombosolea retiaria
G. grandis, Haast. Trans. N.Z. Inst., V., p. 278.
I have examined a type specimen of this fish, sent by Dr. Haast to the Colonial Museum, and find that it agrees in every particular with G. brevi-pinnis, Günther. It is probable that the large “trout” mentioned by Dr. Hector (Cat. N.Z. Fishes, p. 124) must be also referred to this species, which is common in the rivers and lakes of the South Island, and not to Prototroctes oxyrhynchus, for the latter fish is found only in rapidly-running streams.