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Volume 69, 1940
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A Second Specimen of Calanthias in New Zealand Waters.

[Read before Canterbury Branch, August 2, 1939; received by the Editor, August 7, 1989; issued separately, March, 1940.]

Family Serranidae.

Genus Callanthias Lowe.

Callanthias allporti Guenther 1876; Allport's Perch. Plate 58.

A specimen belonging to the genus Callanthias, obtained from near Oamaru in 1937 differed both from C. splendens Griffin (1921, p. 352, pl. 55; type loc., Hauraki Gulf) and from C. allporti Guenther (1876, p. 390; see also Boulenger, 1895, p. 335, pl. 15; type loc., Tasmania). Mr. G. P. Whitley, of the Sydney Museum, commented on a drawing of the Oamaru specimen that it might represent a Forsterian (southern mainland) race of Griffin's species, or that if the lengths of fin-rays and the coloration proved variable it might be included along with the latter in Guenther's species. The latter view was confirmed as follows by the same authority when the specimen was forwarded for examination: “This is a specimen of Allport's Perch from Oamaru, Otago, N.Z., and is the southernmost specimen known. It agrees in all general characters with the Australian Callanthias allporti, but has a large eye, inconspicuous lateral line, steep anterior profile and an unusual (perhaps malformed) opercular margin. But Allport's Perch is a variable fish, and it is considered that age and growth would account for the discrepancies between this New Zealand specimen and our Australian and Tasmanian ones. Griffin has described Callanthias splendens from the Hauraki Gulf, but it appears as if that, too, is only a variant of C. allporti. Some of our C. allporti have the eleven dorsal spines and produced fin-rays which Griffin considered were characteristic of his C. splendens.”

This conclusion is strengthened by the following comparison of the critical numerical data:—

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C. allporti Guenther, type, Brit. Mus. C. splendens Griffin, type, Auck. Mus. Otago specimen, Otago Museum.s
Dorsal fin-rays xi/X xi/XI xi/X
Ventral fin-rays i/V i/V
Anal fin-rays ii/X iii/XI iii/X
Pectoral fin-rays xxi xxi
Total length 220 mm. 225 412
Length of head 55 45 73
Height 73 65 106
Eye diameter 15 22

Description of Otago Specimen.

Length without caudal fin 238 mm.; length of caudal filaments from margin of middle caudal rays 112 mm.; vertical depth from forehead through centre of eye to bottom of jaw 78 mm., representing an extraordinarily steep, convex profile. Dorsal fin placed in a

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groove; first dorsal very short. Length of base of dorsal fin 165 mm.; length of anal base 67 mm.; length of snout 20 mm.; depth of caudal peduncle 43 mm.; L. lat. 48–50. First soft dorsal slightly produced, fourth more so and reaching beyond caudal peduncle; operculum armed on its upper posterior margin with two strong, flattened spines, close together, lowest longest. Pores surrounding eye, others scattered about top and sides of head. Preoperculum entire, its angle rounded and smooth. Cleft of mouth oblique. Maxillary extending to as far as the vertical from the eye. Pectorals extend past vent.

Colour. Top of head in a line with snout and eye to dorsal, bright yellow; surrounding eye and the opercles silver-white; peel orals yellowish-white; anal fin orange; ventrals yellowish; dorsal spines sulphur-yellow; membranes of dorsals scarlet; from posterior of anal, colour silver, increasing to golden as it reaches ventral fin. Caudal fin yellow, increasing to sulphur-yellow on filaments. Bye yellow, pupil black, three and one-third in head. Ground colour of fish rufous.

Discussion. In spite of the large size, the steep and pronounced anterior profile, the larger eye, the unusual opercula, the inconspicuous lateral line, and the extraordinarily long tail filaments (not shown in plate on account of damage in transport), it is provisionally concluded that this specimen is to be included along with C. splendens Griffin in C. allporti Guenther.


New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania (McCulloch, 1909-10, pp. 51, 52; depth 40 fathoms), Hauraki Gulf (Griffin 1921, type of C. splendens).


One specimen, 70 fathoms, off Oamaru; taken in July, 1937, on a Dan line by Mr. J. Dow. In Otago Museum.


The writer expresses indebtedness to Mr. Dow for this and other valuable specimens; to Mr. G. P. Whitley for the identification and other information; and to Miss T. Kent, A.R.P.S., for the accompanying illustration.


Boulenger, G. A., 1895. Catalogue fish British Museum, 2nd. ed., vol. 1, p. 335, pl. 15.

Griffin, L. T., 1921. Descriptions (with illustrations) of four fishes new to New Zealand, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 53, pp. 351–357.

Guenther, A., 1876. Remarks on fishes, with descriptions of new species in the British Museum, chiefly southern seas, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (4). 17, p. 390.

Mcculloch, A. R., 1934. Check-list of the fishes and fish-like animals of New-South Wales, Royal Zoo. Soc. N.S.W., p. 44, pl. 158, fig. 7.

—– 1909-10. Report on the fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, Zoo. Results Endeavour, pt. i, pp. 51–52.

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Callanthias allporti Guenther. Allport's Perch.