Notes on Some New Zealand Fishes
[Read before Wellington Branch, October 23, 1946; received by the Editor, June 23, 1947; issued separately, February, 1949.]
Typhlonarke tarakea Phillipps.
Typhlonarke tarakea Phillipps, N.Z. Journ. Sci. and Tech., vol. 11, 1929, p. 101.
Professor B. J. Marples, Otago University, has written to me to the effect that both this species and Typhlonarke aysoni have been recognized off Otago Heads. The type was a female; and the recent occurrence of a male taken by a “foul hook” when groper fishing in Cook Strait in 130 fathoms confirms my original opinion that this species warrants separate specific rank. The specimen recently presented to the Museum is 282 mm. long, 183 mm. across the body, and 30 mm. thick, the snout to spiracles is 47 mm., the length of the tail 95 mm., and the snout to the first gill opening 58 mm.
The dorsal is here well-developed and male claspers are present posteriorly below the body, and protruding beyond body margin. The ventral fins are modified into walking legs which are lobed at the ends and extend sideways beyond the body margins.
The colour is light purplish brown on the under surface, merging to light yellow on the mouth parts and on the legs. The dorsal surface is dark brown to blackish, but lighter at the edges of the body circumference. The tail is dark brown above and lighter below. A cast was made for the Museum by Mr. Charles Lindsay.
Plagiogeneion rubiginosus (Hutton).
A specimen 370 mm. long was trawled in Palliser Bay on July 23, 1945, and presented to the Museum the same day by Mr. F. Abernethy. The fish exhibited a very beautiful appearance, though the colours were fading rapidly. The whole dorsal surface and the sides were bright-red in colour, the red merging into silver on the abdomen. All fins were bright scarlet, brighter than the body, and below the head was a yellowish sheen. This species agrees in essential characters with Waite's figure in Trans. N.Z. Inst., 45, 1913, p. 218, pl. VII, except that in our specimen the origin of the ventral is further back in relation to the pectoral. Also, the root of the pectoral in our fish is much closer to the opercular margin.
Neocyttus gibbosus McCulloch.
On January 13, 1932, Mr. R. B. Martin, an Island Bay fisherman, presented to the Museum a specimen of Neocyttus which had been foul-hooked in 240 fathoms, 5 miles off Island Bay. This was the first occurrence of this species in New Zealand waters. The fish was presented soon after being caught; and the most striking feature was
the powerful green light given off from the eyes. The body was uniform silvery with no black markings. This species is well described and figured by McCulloch in Zoological Results of Endeavour, Fisheries, Vol. 2, p. 119 fig. 8, 1914, under the name Neocythus rhomboidalis var. gibbosus var. nov., specimens having been obtained from the Great Australian Bight in 350–450 fathoms. The species rhomboidalis comes from South Africa, and the presence of McCulloch's variety in New Zealand with similar features inclines me to accept specific rank for gibbosus.
A short description is as follows: The head is longer than deep; eye large, its diameter being about equal to the distance eye to opercular margin; snout short, the distance eye to snout equals about half diameter of orbit; mouth is oblique and protractile, the maxillary reaching to beneath anterior third of eye; jaws are nearly equal; maxilla approximately equals eye in length; mandible distinctly longer; posterior nostril situated just in front of middle of eye on the orbital margin; anterior nostril much smaller and directed inwards towards the dorsal surface; over nostrils is a horny protuberance composed of shiny cycloid scales. The total length is 230 mm., and the depth at the dorsal origin 126 mm.