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
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.
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.
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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
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.)