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Volume 81, 1953
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Two New Gobioid Fishes From Oceania

[Read before the Wellington Branch, April 22, 1953; received by the Editor, April 23, 1953.]

Abstract

Records from South Viti Levn. Fiji Is., Lairdina hopletupus n.g., n.sp. allied to Eviota and Trimma (Eleotndae). Stigmatogobius duospilus n.sp. (Gobiidae) and Lebistes reticulatus from New Caledonia.

A package containing thirteen small fishes secured by my valued correspondent Dr. Marshall Laird was recently submitted to me for determination and study. These specimens were obtained in New Caledonia and Fiji, and represent three species, two of which are new, and one a new genus, which I take pleasure in dedicating to Dr. Laird. Appreciation and thanks are also gratefully tendered to him for his kindness in presenting these specimens to me and affording opportunity for their study.

Poeciliidae

Lebistes reticulatus (Peters) (Introduced).

One 20 mm. ♂. Ponded stream at Koumae, North New Caledonia. Two, 12 to 30 mm. ♀ These two without the two black spots on the male as in my figures.1

One 19 mm. ♂. Ponded dramage ditch, Tontouta Airfield, New Caledonia. Two 15 to 22 mm. ♀.

One 20 mm. ♂. Permanent pools between Poum and Koumae, North New Caledonia. Three 12 to 25 mm. ♀.

All the above specimens obtained April 12, 1952.

Eleotridae

Lairdina new genus.

Type: Lairdina hopletupus new species.

Body rather slender. Head large, robust. Snout broad, depressed. Large eye premedian in head. Mouth terminal. Maxillary inclined, extends down below front of eye. Large scales 23 in lateral count, present on sides of head and extend forward before dorsal fin to snout. Fins moderate, except long caudal, which is longer than the head and pointed behind medianly. Ventral little less than pectoral.

This genus is related to Eviota Jenkins and Trimma Jordan and Seale. From Eviota it is distinguished by its scaly head and from Trimma by its broad inter-orbital and the predorsal scales extended forward to the snout. Its physiognomy is quite different from both these genera, and the larger caudal fin ends in a median point behind. Other features are its very irregular and contrasted colour pattern and the details of squamation, if the unsigned figure of Trimma caesiura

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Jordan and Seale2 is to be trusted. That shows the scales on the trunk with larger exposures in size than those on the tail. The figure of Trimma eviotops Schultz3 shows a small fish of about 15 mm. in length, with the head, breast and predorsal sealeless, the body and tail scales of uniform size, small rounded caudal fin less than the head, the well inclined maxillary falling down half an eye diameter below the lower edge of the eye, which is blackish, possibly from formaline preparation. Also “the gill openings extend far forward and are narrowly attached to the isthmus” but neither from the figure, the key or the description is it possible to judge of what extent.

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Fig. 1.—Lairdina hopletupus new species. Median cut: lateral view. Upper insect: predorsal and head from above. Lower insect: head and breast from below.

Lairdina hopletupus new species. Fig. 1, type.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Depth, 5; head 2 7/8 to 3 1/8, width 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 in length of head. Snout, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 in head, its front end opposite upper edge of pupil, and front end as seen from above moderately convex; eye 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 in head from tip of snout; mouth well inclined, with closed lower jaw slightly protruded in front; maxillary reaches below front of eye; simple teeth conic, slightly curved, in an irregular biserial band in jaws, lower slightly smaller; interorbital broad, depressed, width slightly greater than the eye. Gill opening large, extends forward nearly in last third of head.

Scales 23 in lateral series. 9 transversely above anal origin, 16 predorsal forward to front of eye. Anal papilla slender, little over half of eye diameter.

D. V—1, 5, well separated, subequally high; A 1, 7, little larger than soft dorsal; caudal much longer than caudal pedunele; pectoral rays 13. not reaching vent: ventrals well separated, with spine and 5 rays of which mnermost longest and ends in long slender point.

Colour in alcohol dull or pale drab generally. Various large, blackish areas on body, often different on two sides of the body, or may be absent from one

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side. Predorsal with 3 lengthwise parallel dark lines or streaks, with the median forking midway in its length. Opercle, or hind two-fifths of head black. Snout bordered above with brown. Iris grey. Fins all more or less darkened, and ventrals black.

Type No. 71968 Acad. Nat. Sci Phila. Hoofprint pools at edge of ponded ereek, Singatoka, South Viti Levn. Fiji Islands. September 21, 1952. Length, 32 mm. to hind end of damaged caudal fin.

Paratype No. 71969, same data. Length to hind end of caudal 33 mm.

The distinctive characters of the species are included in the description and discussion of the genus given above. Only the specimens described above known, both in rather poor preservation.

('σπλν hoof + τυπθς print, with reference to the little puddles in which the species was discovered.)

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Fig. 2—Stigmatogobius duospilus new species. Upper insect head and predorsal from above. Principal figure lateral view.

Gobiidae

Stigmatogobius duospilus new species. Fig. 2, type.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Depth, 4 3/4; head 3 1/3, width 1 3/4 in length of head. Snout broadly convex as scen from above, its length half of eye, and its front end nearly level with middle of eye; eye 3 3/4 in head, its upper edge entering the upper profile of the head; maxillary well inclined, reaches down below front of eye; closed jaws with lower slightly included; teeth not made out clearly, minute; eye 1 2/3 in interorbital, which is low, broad, depressed, level. Gill opening lateral, with broad isthmus below.

Scales 30 in median lateral count, smaller on trunk and larger on tail. Very small predorsal scales 28, extend forward to eyes, ill defined and obscured. Small, feeble scales on opercles, sides of head and breast, only seen under a lens.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

D. VI—1, 8, fins well separated; A. 1, 8, longer, and extends little further back than second dorsal, caudal 3 1/2 in rest of fish, rounded behind. Pectoral rays 14, slightly shorter than head. Ventral little shorter than pectoral.

Colour in alcohol brown, but little paler below. Back and upper sides with row of nine ill-defined dark grey blotches, connected in places and last most distinct, placed on caudal base. Caudal fin with two black blotches near to-

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gether and one above the other, sub-basally on fin and each connected by greyish bar with caudal base. Predorsal with 4 rows of ellipsoid pale blotches. Caudal brown. Pectoral pale pinkish brown. Ventrals pale brown.

Type no 71970 Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. Small pool at edge of swamp near Voh, New Caledonia. June 12, 1952. Length, 38 mm.

Apparently allied with Stigmatogobius hoevenii (Bleeker), differing not only in the small and increased predorsal scales, but also in the contrasted coloration. It does not show the character stressed in Kouman's definition of Stigmatogobius Bleeker1 in which the head is said to be “sealed above behind the eyes; the foremost scale is a large unpaired one in the median line.” S. duospilus is further distinctive in its contrasted coloration of the head, with a large, pale to whitish blotch behind the eye and pale areas on the head below and on the opercle.

(δυο two + σπιλος blot, with reference to the two black caudal spots.)

1 Bull. B. P. Bishop Mus. Occas. Pap. 9 No. 25. 1932, p. 4. Society Islands.

2 Bull. Bur. Fisher. U.S., Vol. 25, 1905 (1906). p. 392, fig. 32.

3 Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. No. 180, 1940. p. 250, Fig. 22. Rose Island.

4 Zool. Meded. Nat. Hist. Leiden, deel 15, afl. 1–2, 1932, p. 3.