Art. XX.—Notice of a new Fish.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 26th June, 1880.]
Anacanthine Gadoidei.—Fam. Lycodidœ.
Hypolycodes, gen. nov.
Diagnoses from Lycodes.—Gill-openings wide; ventral fins equal in length to the pectorals.
Characters of genus.—Body elongate, much compressed, and terminating in a tapering tip. Eyes large, lateral. Skin (in spirits) loose, with minute imbedded scales. Lateral line distinct anteriorly, ascending from the operculum close to the base of the dorsal, along which it is continued for half the length and then fades.
Dorsal and anal fins continuous; caudal absent. First dorsal ray not articulated.
Ventrals jugular, close but not connected; equal in length to the pectorals, which are directly over them in position.
Gills, 4; branchiosteous rays, 5; pseudobranchia present, air-bladder, pyloria cæca, and anal papillæ absent.
Teeth trenchant, conical, curved in single row, most numerous on upper jaw. Teeth on vomer, palatines, and pharyngeals.
Tongue free, rounded, smooth. Mucous tubipores about the head.
Hypolycodes haastii, spec. nov.
D.150, A.120, P.17, V.5, L.L.116.
The length of the head is one-eighth of the total length; and the greatest height, measured immediately behind the gills, is equal to one-tenth of the length. The dorsal commences on the nape, and slightly in advance of the position of the pectorals and ventrals. The vent and commencement of the anal is not less than twice the length of the head from the snout. Snout short, conical and rounded, expanded and projecting in front and on the sides, but only slightly overhanging the lower jaw.
Intermaxillary free, and attached by a membrane posteriorly to the expanded maxillary, which branches back to the middle line of the eye. Thirty-six teeth in the upper jaw, the second pair in front being slightly larger. The teeth in the lower jaw are fewer in number, but of equal size. The vomerine teeth are few and blunt, the palatine and pharyngeal minute. A row of mucous pores below the orbit. The nostrils with short tubular processes. Inside the mouth depends a membranous fold and a mesial filament. The diameter of the eye is equal to one-third the length of the head. The gill-covers are large, rounded below, meeting in the mesial line. The membranes are not bound to the isthmus, so the gills open widely. The superior angle of the suboperculum is strengthened by a spine.
Total length, 7½ inches.
Colour (in spirit) uniform brown, with a bright silver patch on the opercles and expanded maxillaries.
Locality.—Waimarama, East Coast, Wellington. Collected by E. Meinertzhagen, Esq., and entrusted to me for description by Professor von Haast, F.R.S.
This remarkable little fish is closely allied to a form from the Falkland Islands, described by the Rev. L. Jenyns, in “Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle,” under the generic name of Ilnocœtes, which he places with the Blennidæ. Dr. Günther has however removed that fish to the genus Lycodes, which he places with the Gadidæ, or cod-tribe of soft-rayed fishes. The fish now described, although possessing characters sufficient to require a separate genus, clearly supports the systematic position assigned to the Lycodidœ by Günther.