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Morphological investigation into the paleate genus Paleanotus Schmarda 1861 of the family Chrysopetalidae from northern Australian coral reefs, primarily Lizard Island and outlying reefs, included a complex of very small, slender individuals (length < 5 mm). This complex resolved into 7 new species, described herein: Paleanotus inornatus n. Sp., P. adornatus n. Sp., P. Chrysos n. Sp., P. aquifolia n. Sp., P. latifolia n. Sp., P. Silus n. Sp., and P. Silopsis n. Sp. A key is provided to the new species and Paleanotus distinguished from Treptopale and Hyalopale, two closely related genera. Diagnostic features of the apical structure and shape of the notochaetal main paleae plus median paleae shape and raised rib pattern, differentiates each species from the other. Gametous states are described. Two cryptic species pairs (Paleanotus silopsis n. Sp. and P. Silus n. Sp.; Paleanotus aquifolia n. Sp. and P. latifolia n. Sp.) were identified. In each case one species is restricted to either the NE or NW Australian coast. In each pair the most eastern point for the NW Australian species range occurs at Darwin, western Arnhemland, Northern Territory. Additional material for each species pair extends their respective ranges northwards: NW Australia to Thailand, Andaman Sea, eastern Indian Ocean or NE Australia, Great Barrier Reef to the Philippines, western Pacific Ocean. Cryptic morphology and potential genetic diversity is discussed in Paleanotus inornatus n. Sp. and P. adornatus n. Sp. that possess overlapping widespread distribution patterns across northern Australia and Indo-Pacific reefs. The smallest bodied taxon, Paleanotus chrysos n. Sp. Is the only species with a Coral Sea range encompassing Lizard Island, Heron Island and New Caledonia. © 2015 Magnolia Press. Source

Thuesen P.A.,James Cook University | Ebner B.C.,Griffith University | Larson H.,Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory | Keith P.,French Natural History Museum | Silcock R.M.,James Cook University

Background: Indo-Pacific high island streams experience extreme hydrological variation, and are characterised by freshwater fish species with an amphidromous life history. Amphidromy is a likely adaptation for colonisation of island streams following stochastic events that lead to local extirpation. In the Wet Tropics of north-eastern Australia, steep coastal mountain streams share similar physical characteristics to island systems. These streams are poorly surveyed, but may provide suitable habitat for amphidromous species. However, due to their ephemeral nature, common non-diadromous freshwater species of continental Australia are unlikely to persist. Consequently, we hypothesise that coastal Wet Tropics streams are faunally more similar, to distant Pacific island communities, than to nearby faunas of large continental rivers. Methods/Principal Findings: Surveys of coastal Wet Tropics streams recorded 26 species, 10 of which are first records for Australia, with three species undescribed. This fish community is unique in an Australian context in that it contains mostly amphidromous species, including sicydiine gobies of the genera Sicyopterus, Sicyopus, Smilosicyopus and Stiphodon. Species presence/absence data of coastal Wet Tropics streams were compared to both Wet Tropics river networks and Pacific island faunas. ANOSIM indicated the fish fauna of north-eastern Australian coastal streams were more similar to distant Pacific islands (R = 0.76), than to nearby continental rivers (R = 0.98). Main Conclusions/Significance: Coastal Wet Tropics streams are faunally more similar to distant Pacific islands (79% of species shared), than to nearby continental fauna due to two factors. First, coastal Wet Tropics streams lack many non-diadromous freshwater fish which are common in nearby large rivers. Second, many amphidromous species found in coastal Wet Tropics streams and Indo-Pacific islands remain absent from large rivers of the Wet Tropics. The evolutionary and conservation significance of this newly discovered Australian fauna requires clarification in the context of the wider amphidromous fish community of the Pacific. © 2011 Thuesen et al. Source

Penny S.S.,Charles Darwin University | Willan R.C.,Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Molluscan Research

A new species of giant clam from northern Australian coastal waters is distinguished principally on genetic evidence. Of Recent tridacnids, Tridacna ningaloo n. sp. is morphologically closest to the most widespread species in the Indo-Pacific, Tridacna maxima (Röding, 1798), yet genetically closest to the species pair T. squamosa Lamarck, 1819 plus T. crocea Lamarck, 1819. Genotype data are provided for the type material of T. ningaloo n. sp. The greatest significance of this new, cryptic species is that it casts doubt on the correctness of the ‘historical’ giant clam species defined solely on conchological characters, particularly T. maxima. This paper supports the retention of all giant clams in the family Tridacnidae, as distinct from the Cardiidae, because of their numerous morphological apomorphies, specialised ecological niche, and independent acquisition of symbiotic zooxanthellae. © 2014, © 2014 The Malacological Society of Australasia and the Society for the Study of Molluscan Diversity. Source

Russell B.C.,Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Saurida golanii sp.nov. is described on the basis of eight specimens collected from bottom-set trammel nets in deep water (200-500 m) off Eilat, in the Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea. The new species is characterised by the following combination of characters: lateral-line scales 53-56; transverse scale rows 4=/5=; long pectoral fins (extending beyond a line from origin of pelvic fins to origin of dorsal fin); caudal peduncle compressed (depth greater than width); and pelvic fins unpigmented. Copyright © 2011, Magnolia Press. Source

Russell B.C.,Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

A new species of lizardfish, Saurida tweddlei n.sp., from the Mascarene Plateau, Western Indian Ocean, is described and figured. The new species is characterised by the following combination of characters: dorsal fin with 12-13 rays; pectorals with 14-15 rays; lateral-line scales 53-55; transverse scale rows above lateral line 41/2, below lateral line 51/2; pectoral fins moderately long (extending to or just beyond a line from origin of pelvic fins to origin of dorsal fin); 2 rows of teeth on outer palatines; 0-3 teeth on vomer; tongue with about 4-5 rows of teeth posteriorly; caudal peduncle compressed (depth greater than width); stomach and intestine pale whitish. A key to the species of Saurida of the Western Indian Ocean is provided. Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press. Source

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