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The pseudochromid Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933) is redescribed based on examination of the holotype from Culion, Calamian Islands, and three newly acquired non-type specimens from a fish landing site in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines. Prior to this, the species was known only from the holotype; from a photograph of a putative female taken in Lajo Island, Busuanga, Calamian Islands; and from observations at Lajo Island and Tangat Island, Calamian Islands. The new specimens from Macuao Island appear to be males, and their live colouration is reported here for the first time. We also briefly comment on the restricted distribution of other pseudochromids and coral-reef fishes in the Palawan region of the Philippines.
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Gill et al.: New records and redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus
New records and redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre,
1933) (Teleostei: Pseudochromidae)
Anthony C. Gill1,2, Kent Elson S. Sorgon3, Victor Brun4 & Yi-Kai Tea2,5*
Abstract. The pseudochromid Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933) is redescribed based on examination of the
holotype from Culion, Calamian Islands, and three newly acquired non-type specimens from a sh landing site in
Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines. Prior to this, the species was known
only from the holotype; from a photograph of a putative female taken in Lajo Island, Busuanga, Calamian Islands;
and from observations at Lajo Island and Tangat Island, Calamian Islands. The new specimens from Macuao Island
appear to be males, and their live colouration is reported here for the rst time. We also briey comment on the
restricted distribution of other pseudochromids and coral-reef shes in the Palawan region of the Philippines.
Key words. dottyback, Philippines, endemic, Palawan, Calamian Islands, Culion, Taytay
Date of publication: 20 October 2021
DOI: 10.26107/RBZ-2021-0063
© National University of Singapore
ISSN 2345-7600 (electronic) | ISSN 0217-2445 (print)
Herre (1933) described Dampieria atrofasciatus from
the holotype and only known specimen from Culion in
the Calamian Islands (or Calamianes Group of Islands),
Philippines. No live colouration or habitat details for the
species was provided in his description. Schultz (1967)
subsequently redescribed and illustrated the holotype,
recognising it as a valid species in the genus Labracinus
Schlegel, 1858. Gill (1999) included the species in his
key to Central West Pacic pseudochromid species, and
subsequently redescribed and illustrated the holotype in his
revision of pseudochromine pseudochromids (Gill, 2004).
The species remained known only from the holotype until
Allen et al. (2003) published a photo of an individual taken
in the Calamian Islands. The same photograph was also
reproduced in Allen & Erdmann (2012). Gerald R. Allen
(pers. comm. to ACG, 2020) communicated that he observed
and photographed the species at two localities between
northern Culion and southern Busuanga, at Lajo Island
(11°59.19′N, 119°57.64′E) and Tangat Island (11°57.59′N,
In late 2019, one of us (VB) noted several individuals of an
unfamiliar, striking red sh with black oblique bars among
other shes landed in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of
Taytay, northern Palawan. He showed the photo to YKT,
who initially identied it as the pseudochromid Labracinus
atrofasciatus. Subsequent correspondence with ACG
conrmed the identity of the sh, and three specimens were
obtained with the help of KESS. The purpose of the present
contribution is to report on the new specimens, documenting
character variation and live colouration notes. We also briey
discuss other reef-sh species with restricted distributions
in northern Palawan and the Calamian Islands.
Three specimens of Labracinus atrofasciatus were obtained
from a sh landing site in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality
of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines (Fig. 1). Prior to
preservation, photographs and tissue samples were taken
for all specimens (Fig. 2). Specimens are deposited in the
Australian Museum (AMS) and the National Museum of the
Philippines (PNM). Institutional codes follow Sabaj (2020).
Tissue samples were obtained from the right pelvic n,
preserved in 100% ethanol, and stored at ˗20°C prior to
extraction. DNA was extracted using the DNeasy Blood and
Tissue kit (Qiagen) following the manufacturer’s protocol
and sequenced de novo. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase
subunit I (COI) was amplied from extracted gDNA using
the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Primer sets and PCR
conditions follow Chang et al. (2017). Sanger sequencing was
outsourced to Macrogen (Seoul, South Korea). Forward and
Taxonomy & Systematics
Accepted by: Tan Heok Hui
1Macleay Collections, Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney, New South
Wales 2006, Australia
2Ichthyology, Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William
Street, Sydney NSW 2010 Australia
3Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the
Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, Philippines 4031
4PSL Université Paris: EPHE-UPVD-CNRS, USR 3278 CRIOBE, 58 avenue Pail
Alduy, 66860 Perpignan, France
5School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney, New South Wales
2006, Australia; Email: (*corresponding author)
Fig. 1. Two specimens of Labracinus atrofasciatus (approximately 150 and 190 mm TL) amongst catch of other reef shes at a sh
landing site in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines. Specimens not retained. Photograph by V. Brun.
reverse contigs were aligned and trimmed separately using
GENEIOUS Prime 2019.1.1 (Biomatters). Mitochondrial
COI barcodes for all three specimens are publicly available
on GenBank (MZ753670–72).
Methods of counting and measuring follow Gill (2004). In
the description below, data is rst presented for the holotype,
followed where different by minimum to maximum values
for the three non-type specimens in parentheses. Where
data were recorded bilaterally for the holotype, the left and
right values are presented, respectively, separated by a slash.
Frequency distributions for selected meristic characters are
provided in Table 1.
Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933)
Black-barred dottyback
(Figs. 1–3, 4A, 5; Tables 1, 2)
Dampieria atrofasciatus Herre, 1933: 17 (type locality: Culion,
Philippines); 1934: 47 (list); 1953: 370 (list); Roxas & Martin,
1937: 123 (list); Böhlke, 1953: 69 (list).
Labracinus atrofasciatusSchultz, 1967: 40, g. 8 (description);
Gill, 1999: 2561 (key); 2004: 24, gs. 12, 13 (redescription);
Allen et al., 2003: 273 (colour photograph); Allen & Erdmann,
2012: vol. 1, 324 (colour photograph).
Material examined. CAS SU 25518, 105.5 mm SL
(holotype), Culion, Culion Island, Calamian Group,
Philippine Islands, A.W. Herre, April 1931.
AMS I.49470-001 (GenBank MZ753670), 134.4 mm SL,
shery landing site in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality
of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines, 11°06′38″N,
119°32′24″E, V. Brun, 30 November 2019. — PNM 15645
(GenBank MZ753671), 146.5 mm SL, collected with AMS
I.49470-001. — PNM 15646 (GenBank MZ753672), 142.0
mm SL, same data as AMS I.49470-001, except collected
5 January 2020.
Diagnosis. Labracinus atrofasciatus differs from congeners
in having a series of narrow, dark blue to black oblique bars
on the body. It also differs in having relatively high numbers
of horizontal scale rows above the anal-n origin (24–27
+ 1 + 4–5 = 30–33), pseudobranch laments (22–24), and
circumpeduncular scales (30–32).
Description (data rst for the holotype, followed where
different by minimum and maximum values for non-types
in parentheses). Dorsal-n rays II,25, all segmented rays
branched; anal-n rays III,14, all segmented rays branched;
pectoral-n rays 20/20 (19–20); upper procurrent caudal-n
rays 6; lower procurrent caudal-n rays 5; total caudal-n rays
28; scales in lateral series 60/60 (58–62); anterior lateral-line
scales 53/51 (47–53); anterior lateral line terminating
beneath segmented dorsal-n ray 19/19 (17–21); posterior
lateral-line scales 18 + ?/19 + 2 (19–21 + 2); scales between
lateral lines 7/7 (6–8); horizontal scale rows above anal-n
Gill et al.: New records and redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus
Fig. 2. Freshly dead Labracinus atrofasciatus specimens from Macuao Island, northern Palawan, Philippines. A, PNM 15645, 146.5 mm
SL; B, PNM 15646, 142.0 mm SL; C, AMS I.49470-001, 134.4 mm SL. Photographs by V. Brun (A) and K. E. S. Sorgon (B, C).
Table 1. Frequency distributions of counts for selected meristic characters of Labracinus atrofasciatus. (*) indicates where bilateral counts
are included.
Pectoral rays* Scales in lateral series* Anterior lateral-line scales*
19 20 58 59 60 61 62 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
3 5 2 1 4 - 1 1 - - 1 2 1 3
Termination of anterior lateral line
(beneath dorsal segmented ray)*
Scales in peduncular portion of
posterior lateral line*
Scales between
lateral lines*
17 18 19 20 21 18 19 20 21 6 7 8 30 31 32
1 2 3 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 5 1 1 - 3
Horizontal scale rows below anterior lateral
Horizontal scale rows
above anterior lateral line*
Predorsal scales
24 25 26 27 4 5 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
2 3 1 2 1 7 1 - 1 1 - - - 1
Scales behind eye Scales to
preopercular angle
Upper gill rakers* Lower gill
Total gill rakers*
2 3 4 9 10 11 22 23 24 5 6 7 13 14 18 19 20
1 1 2 3 - 1 2 2 1 1 3 1 3 2 1 1 3
origin 24 + 1 + 5/25 + 1 + 5 (24–27 + 1 + 4–5 = 30–33);
circumpeduncular scales 32 (30–32); predorsal scales 34
(31–38); scales behind eye 2 (3–4); scales to preopercular
angle 9 (9–11); gill rakers 6 + 14/7 + 13 (5–6 + 13–14 =
18–20); pseudobranch laments 23/24 (22–23).
Lower lip complete; dorsal and anal ns with well-developed
scale sheaths; predorsal scales extending anteriorly to mid
AIO pores (mid AIO to posterior nasal pores); opercle
relatively smooth, without distinct serrations; teeth of outer
ceratobranchial-1 gill rakers with well-developed teeth
running most of length of upper rakers, these becoming
restricted to distal halves and raker tips of lower rakers;
anterior dorsal-fin pterygiophore formula S/S/S + 3/1
+ 1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1 + 1 (S/S/S + 3/1 +
1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1 + 1); dorsal-fin spines
slender, tips exible; anal-n pterygiophore formula 3/1
+ 1/1/1/1/1/1/1 + 1/1/1 + 1/ 1 + 1 (3/1 + 1/1/1/1/1/1/1 +
1/1/1 + 1/ 1 + 1 or 3/1 + 1/1/1/1/1/1 + 1/1/1/1 + 1/ 1 + 1);
anal-n spines relatively stout and pungent, second spine
slightly stouter than third; pelvic-n spine slender, tip weakly
pungent; second segmented pelvic-n ray longest or equal
to third (second or third ray longest); caudal n rounded;
vertebrae 11 + 17; epineurals 14 (12–14); epurals 3 (Fig. 3).
Upper jaw with 2 (1–2) pairs of curved, enlarged caniniform
teeth anteriorly, and about 5 (at symphysis) to 1–2 (on sides
of jaw) irregular rows of small conical teeth, outermost of
rows of teeth much larger and more curved than those of
inner rows; lower jaw with 2 (1) pairs of curved, enlarged
caniniform teeth anteriorly, and about 3 (at symphysis) to 1
(on sides of jaw) inner rows of small conical to caniniform
teeth, those on middle of jaw enlarged and caniniform; vomer
with 1–2 rows of small conical teeth arranged in chevron;
palatine with 1 row of small conical teeth, more or less
contiguous anteriorly with posterolateral arm of vomerine
tooth patch; ectopterygoid edentate; tongue moderately
pointed and edentate. Morphometric data are summarised
in Table 2.
Live colouration. Based on specimens from Taytay, Palawan
(Figs. 1, 2): head grey-brown to olive, paler ventrally,
becoming brownish red behind eye and on upper part of
cheek; scales on upper part of head each with blue to dark
olive spot; dark blue curved mark extending around posterior
rim of orbit to middle of upper lip, mark broadest behind
eye, becoming indistinct ventrally and anteriorly; blue curved
mark narrowly bordered ventrally with bright red; iris red
to orange-yellow with blue sub-oval ring around pupil;
anterior body, nape, and dorsal part of body grey-brown
to olive, becoming paler and more yellowish on breast and
near pectoral-n base, each scale within grey-brown to olive
region with basal blue to dark olive spot; remainder of body
olive-pink to bright orange-red, sometimes abruptly paler on
caudal peduncle, with about 9–15 narrow to broad dark blue-
black bars extending from anterior lateral line or dorsal-n
base to ventral part of body, these variously anastomosing
dorsally; caudal peduncle sometimes pale, with narrow dark
blue-black bars or intermittent streaks; dorsal n olive-grey,
becoming red basally behind middle part of n, the red area
gradually expanding posteriorly to full length of terminal
few rays; distal margin of anterior part of fin narrowly
bright blue; dorsal n with ne blue spots, these aligning
to form curved marks on red part of n, and to form short
streaks distally on grey part of n; anal n pinkish grey to
bright red with narrow bright blue distal margin; caudal n
pinkish olive to orange-red or crimson; pectoral ns greyish
to yellowish hyaline, with dark grey mark on axil and base
of n; pelvic ns olive-yellow with pinkish-grey rays. See
Comparative notes below for live colouration of females.
Gill et al.: New records and redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus
Fig. 3. X-radiographs of Labracinus atrofasciatus. A, CAS-SU 25518, 105.5 mm SL holotype (via Smithsonian Division of Fishes); B,
PNM 15645, 146.5 mm SL; C, PNM 15646, 142.0 mm SL; D, AMS I.49470-001, 134.4 mm SL. Radiographs by K. Parkinson (B–D).
Table 2. Morphometric values for specimens of Labracinus atrofasciatus. Values are expressed as percentage of standard length (SL). (*)
indicates where measurements have distortion artefacts (owing to the head being angled upwards during preservation).
Morphometric characters CAS SU 25518
(Holotype) PNM 15645 PNM 15646 AMS I.49470-001
SL (mm) 105.5 146.5 142.0 134.4
Head length 25.8 25.0 24.6 25.6
Orbit diameter 6.9 5.9 6.4 6.3
Snout length 8.0 9.2 8.0 7.9
Fleshy interorbital width 6.7 6.8 7.0 6.7
Bony interorbital width 4.5 5.7 5.5 5.6
Body width 13.8 14.9 15.8 14.9
Snout tip to posterior tip of retroarticular bone 17.3 17.2 17.7 17.6
Predorsal length 32.4 30.9 29.4 31.3
Prepelvic length 36.5 41.5* 42.1* 35.9
Posterior tip of retroarticular bone to pelvic-n origin 21.5 31.4* 30.7* 20.4
Dorsal-n origin to pelvic-n origin 36.4 32.9 35.8 36.5
Dorsal-n origin to middle dorsal-n ray 38.7 31.9 35.8 39.0
Dorsal-n origin to anal-n origin 52.2 48.9 49.5 50.9
Pelvic-n origin to anal-n origin 26.7 31.1 24.3 27.0
Middle dorsal-n ray to dorsal-n termination 29.5 28.5 30.4 30.9
Middle dorsal-n ray to anal-n origin 35.2 36.4 35.8 37.4
Anal-n origin to dorsal-n termination 42.0 41.5 40.1 41.4
Anal-n base length 32.5 32.8 31.5 31.4
Dorsal-n termination to anal-n termination 17.3 18.1 18.3 18.3
Dorsal-n termination to caudal peduncle dorsal edge 8.7 8.2 8.5 8.9
Dorsal-n termination to caudal peduncle ventral edge 17.6 18.4 17.9 18.7
Anal-n termination to caudal peduncle dorsal edge 18.7 19.7 19.8 20.3
Anal-n termination to caudal peduncle ventral edge 9.7 8.5 9.6 9.3
First dorsal-n spine 3.1 2.1 2.2 3.7
Second dorsal-n spine 5.3 4.0 4.8 5.2
First segmented dorsal-n ray 13.2 13.0 14.4 15.2
Fourth last segmented dorsal-n ray 25.5 24.5 24.3 29.4
First anal-n spine 3.2 2.5 2.7 2.9
Second anal-n spine 5.2 3.9 4.6 4.4
Third anal-n spine 6.5 5.3 6.3 broken
First segmented anal-n ray 12.3 13.2 12.3 12.5
Fourth last segmented anal-n ray 22.5 21.7 23.0 18.5
Third pectoral-n ray 17.9 18.5 18.8 17.6
Pelvic-n spine 10.6 9.2 11.6 7.0
Second segmented pelvic-n ray 24.9 24.3 24.3 25.4
Caudal-n length 28.6 26.6 28.9 30.6
Gill et al.: New records and redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus
Fig. 4. Map of the Philippines, showing distribution records for selected species of pseudochromids endemic to the Calamian Islands and
Palawan regions. A, Labracinus atrofasciatus, photograph of PNM 15645; B, Pseudochromis colei, photograph of aquarium specimen (not
retained); C, P. eichleri, photograph of AMS I.45651-001 (paratype); D, Manonichthys scintilla, photograph of USNM 382744 (paratype).
Photographs by V. Brun (A), Y. K. Tea (B), G. R. Allen (C), and J. T. Williams (D).
Preserved colouration. Similar to live colouration; grey-
brown to olive areas on head, body, and ns become brown;
blue to dark olive spots on head and body scales become dark
brown; red areas on body and ns become tan; dark blue-
black bars and streaks on body and caudal peduncle become
dark grey-brown; blue spots on ns become dark brown.
Etymology. The specic epithet is derived from the Latin
‘atrum’, black, and ‘fascia’, band, in reference to the
striking markings on the body of this species. Labracinus
atrofasciatus is known locally as ‘akot’ in Cuyonon, a
language spoken mostly in Cuyo Islands and coastal areas
of Palawan in the Philippines, where it shares the local name
with the congeneric L. cyclophthalmus.
Habitat and distribution. We extend the known distribution
of L. atrofasciatus from Culion in the Calamian Islands
southward to Taytay, Palawan (Fig. 4A). Herre (1933) did
not include habitat details for the holotype, and we also lack
details for the Taytay specimens. However, Allen (pers.
comm. to ACG, 2020) provided the following details for
his Lajo and Tangat Island observations:
“1. Lajo Island, 11°59.19′N, 119°57.64′E: area with
freshwater runoff due to a spring at the shoreline; limestone
reef development about 50 m from shore; patchy mangroves
along shore with some Enhalus seagrass in shallows; L.
atrofasciatus (about 10 individuals) seen on the shallow at
between the reef and shore, consisting of sand, rubble, and
patches of dead coral. Photo taken here (Fig. 5A).”
“2. Tangat Island, 11°57.59′N, 120°03.56′E: fringing reef
on edge of steep, high cliffs forming south-western Tangat
Island, fringing reef about 20 m in width before dropping
steeply to 20 m depth. One individual seen.”
Comparative notes. Gill (2004) recognised three species
of Labracinus in his revision of the Pseudochrominae: L.
atrofasciatus and L. cyclophthalmus (Müller & Troschel,
1849) from throughout the West Pacic (Japan to northwest
Australia and east to Papua New Guinea), and L. lineatus
(Castelnau, 1875) from Western Australia. However, White
et al. (2013) recognised two species from Indonesian waters
based on apparent differences in live colouration (and
also in COI barcode sequences; W. T. White pers. comm.
to ACG), and Ito et al. (2021) recognised L. ocelliferus
(Fowler, 1946) as a valid species based on morphological
and colouration characters, as well as differences in 12S
ribosomal RNA sequences. In spite of the recognition of L.
ocelliferus (considered a synonym of L. cyclophthalmus by
Gill, 2004), the likelihood that L. cyclophthalmus is a complex
of similar species, and the new information on variation in
L. atrofasciatus, the characters provided by Gill (2004) still
mostly hold as diagnostic for L. atrofasciatus: relatively high
number of horizontal scale rows above the anal-n origin
(24–27 + 1 + 4–5 = 30–33 versus 16–25 + 1 + 3–6 = 21–30,
usually 17–23 + 1 + 3–5 = 21–28 in the other species);
relatively high number of pseudobranch laments (22–24
versus 12–20); relatively high number of circumpeduncular
scales (30–32 versus 24–30); and presence of dark blue to
black oblique bars on the sides of the body. An exception
is the presence of a large (subequal to pupil) black spot on
the posterior part of the dorsal n. This marking is obvious
in the holotype (Fig. 5B) and also apparent in Allen et al.
(2003) and Allen & Erdmann’s (2012) photograph of the
individual from Lajo Island (Fig. 5A). It is absent, however,
in each of the Taytay specimens.
Dorsal n colouration appears to be sexually dimorphic in
Labracinus species (Schultz, 1967; Gill, 2004). Other aspects
of the dorsal n colouration of the holotype and individual
photographed from Lajo Island suggest that they are females,
whereas the specimens from Taytay, Palawan, appear to
be males. Aside from the presence of a posterior dorsal-n
spot, the presumed female photographed from Lajo Island
differs in having an olive-brown body with a translucent
yellow caudal n. Both sexes appear to have a pale cream
caudal peduncle (more abruptly so in the putative female than
males) and oblique black bars on the body (more prominent
in the males). However, given the paucity of specimens in
museums, possibility of ontogenetic colouration differences,
and poorly documented nature of this species, further study
with additional fresh material of both sexes is needed to
corroborate these differences.
Comparisons of mitochondrial COI sequences of L.
atrofasciatus with other publicly available pseudochromid
sequences recovers L. cyclophthalmus as its closest
relative (14.2–15.7% uncorrected pairwise distance).
We note however that several comparative sequences
included in the above analysis retrieved from GenBank
appear to be erroneous. These include two sequences of
Pseudochromis jamesi (MW630777 and KT883614), and
one of Labracinus lineatus (KU943558), all three of which
are most likely misidentications of L. cyclophthalmus. We
provisionally recognise Labracinus sp. 1 and sp. 2 from
Indonesia (JN312221 and GU674050) as L. cyclophthalmus,
pending further research concerning the taxonomy of L.
cyclophthalmus. Until more appropriate sequences of related
species are made available (including the Western Australian
L. lineatus), we refrain from putting emphasis on Labracinus
relationships. Nonetheless, we take the opportunity to include
new, previously unavailable mitochondrial COI sequences
of L. atrofasciatus.
Remarks. One of the Taytay specimens (PNM 15646)
exhibits two unusual osteological features: the rst caudal
vertebra (12th vertebra) possesses a haemal spine and paired
parapophyses (versus a haemal spine and no parapophyses),
and the second last vertebra (pu2) has an elongate neural
spine (versus short neural spine). We are not aware of similar
modication of the rst caudal vertebra in pseudochromids,
although similar morphology occurs in some anthiadine
shes (Baldwin, 1990; Pogonoski & Gill, 2021). Variation
in the length of the pu2 neural spine in pseudochromids
was reviewed by Gill (2013), and is known in two genera:
Anisochromis Smith, 1954, and Assiculoides Gill & Hutchins,
Gill et al.: New records and redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus
Fig. 5. A, putative female of Labracinus atrofasciatus, in situ photograph taken in Lajo Island, Palawan, Philippines; B, holotype of L.
atrofasciatus, CAS-SU 25518, 105.5 mm SL holotype (image adapted from Gill, 2004). Note the posterior dorsal-n spot and faint vertical
bars in both specimens. Photographs by G. R. Allen & M. V. Erdmann (A) and P. Crabb (B).
The distribution shown by L. atrofasciatus is remarkably
similar to that of several pseudochromid species (Fig. 4),
in particular Pseudochromis colei Herre, 1933 (Fig. 4B),
P. eichleri Gill, Allen & Erdmann, 2012 (Fig. 4C), and
Manonichthys scintilla Gill & Williams, 2011 (Fig. 4D).
Pseudochromis colei was originally described from the
holotype from Culion, but later recorded from Imorigue
Channel, northeast Palawan, by Gill et al. (2012).
Pseudochromis eichleri was described from the holotype
from Galoc Island in the Calamian Islands and four paratypes
from northeast Palawan; it was also recorded from several
other localities in the Calamian Islands and from Boracay
Island in the northeast Sulu Sea. Manonichthys scintilla was
described from the holotype from Apo Reef in Mindoro
province and two paratypes from Apo Reef and Coron Island
in the Calamian Islands. Several other sh species have
distributions either restricted to the Calamian Islands and
northeast Palawan area or centred on that area, extending
into the northern Sulu Sea. These include the atherinids
Atherinomorus regina (Seale, 1910) and A. crenolepis
(Schultz, in Schultz et al., 1953); the blenniids Ecsenius kurti
Springer, 1988, and Istiblennius colei (Herre, 1934); and the
three species in the pomacentrid genus Altrichthys Allen, 1999
(Bernardi et al., 2017). These distributions suggest that the
Calamian Islands and northeast Palawan may constitute an
area of endemism. We therefore anticipate that further study
of the fauna, particularly the re-evaluation of widespread
species that may represent species complexes, will result
in the discovery of additional species endemic to the area.
The occurrence of L. atrofasciatus along with other reef-
associated shes landed in Taytay, Palawan (Fig. 1), indicate
the importance of this species in small-scale artisanal sheries
on the island and possibly throughout its geographic range.
The conservation status of L. atrofasciatus has not yet been
evaluated. Alava et al. (2009) briey noted L. atrofasciatus
in their Red List assessment of marine endemic bony shes
in the Philippines, but did not assess the species. The range
extension of L. atrofasciatus detailed in this study will
contribute to future Red List assessments of this endemic,
range-restricted pseudochromid, as well as other coral reef
shes in Palawan, Philippines.
We thank the Barangay Captain of Barangay Sandoval, M.
Legion, and the community of Barangay Sandoval in Taytay,
Palawan, Philippines, for providing consent for specimen
collection. R. Cabalda of Barangay Sandoval assisted with
collecting L. atrofasciatus at the shery landing site and
contributed additional information about the specimens.
Support was given by the Palawan Council for Sustainable
Development (PCSD) through issuance of wildlife gratuitous
and local transport permits with permit numbers 2019-39
and 2020-01-004, respectively. The Bureau of Fisheries and
Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provided the export commodity
clearance (2020-04641). We thank J. Meren for her curatorial
assistance at PNM. We thank A. Hay, K. Parkinson, and
S. E. Reader for curatorial assistance, access to facilities at
AMS, and x-radiographs. G. R. Allen generously shared his
eld notes on L. atrofasciatus observations in the Calamian
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The Palawan archipelago is considered as the Philippines’ last ecological frontier, a Man and Biosphere Reserve, and a priority conservation area because of its high marine biodiversity. However, a comprehensive checklist of current marine fishes occurring in the province that can be used for diversity conservation priorities is still lacking. This paper aims to present an updated checklist of marine fishes recorded in Palawan waters (including new records) and their current conservation status. Underwater visual census (UVC) surveys (2003 – 2021), and published literature from 156 sites were used to compile the checklist, and the species’ updated nomenclatures were also presented. Currently, 1,056 marine fishes (32 elasmobranchs, 1,024 bony fishes) are included in the list, classified under two classes, 42 orders, 115 families, and 366 genera. More species were recorded in the Sulu Sea (904) than in the West Philippine Sea (557) which could be attributed to more studies being conducted in the former than in the latter. We also included 299 newly recorded species in this province, mostly from UVC surveys. Most of the species have Least Concern and Not Evaluated IUCN status, but a few species are already threatened, comprised mostly of elasmobranchs. Necessary information from this checklist is crucial in crafting a management plan for the protection and conservation of marine fishes in Palawan and nearby areas, especially those that are already declared as threatened species.
Full-text available
Assembled here is a reasonably complete list of annotated codes for historical and modern natural history collections associated with lost and extant specimens of fossil and Recent fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. A total of 3,845 codes are anchored to about 2,064 distinct collections and/or institutions in 155 countries. At least 633 of those collections are exclusively paleontological or include fossil specimens. The list is primarily derived from the scientific literature and may serve as a resource for plainly citing specimens in publications and for linking such citations to records in online databases. © 2020 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Full-text available
A new species of damselfish, Altrichthys alelia sp. n. is described from specimens collected in shallow water (1–8m depth) off Busuanga Island, Palawan Province, Philippines. It differs from the other two species in the genus, A. curatus and A. azurelineatus, in various features including having golden upper body lacking dark edges of dorsal and caudal fins, higher modal number of tubed lateral line scales, as well as differences in two mitochondrial markers, one nuclear marker, and RAD markers.
The monotypic Australian pseudochromid fish genera Assiculus and Assiculoides had been previously included in the sub-family Pseudochrominae on the basis of symplesiomorphic characters. Osteological synapomorphies are identified in sup-port of a closer relationship to the remaining pseudochromid subfamilies. Two synapomorphies (five or fewer infraorbital bones, haemal spine of preural vertebra 2 attached to centrum) diagnose a clade consisting of Assiculoides, Pseudople-siopinae, Anisochrominae and Congrogadinae. Two additional synapomorphies (parhypural not separate from hypurals 1+2, total caudal-fin rays modally 27 or fewer) diagnose a more inclusive clade that also includes Assiculus. Two new subfamilies are erected to reflect these relationships.