John E. RANDALL (1) & Bronson H. NAGAREDA (2)

ABSTRACT. - The labrid fish Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus is described as new from seven specimens collected in the Coral Sea, the holotype from Holmes Reef in the western part of the sea, a paratype from the aquarium trade, and 5 paratypes from 60-217 m from the Chesterfield Bank. This species is distinct in having 15 pectoral rays, 16-17 + 5 lateral-line scales, 5 median predorsal scales, 2 rows of scales on cheek, 14-15 gill rakers, a large eye (8.2-12.1% SL over the range in SL of 35-76 mm), emarginate caudal fin and short pelvic fins in the male, and a color pattern of the male of a very broad longitudinal black band in the outer part of the dorsal fin (absent in middle of fin of largest males), and a submarginal black band in the caudal fin.

RÉSUMÉ. - Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus, une espèce nouvelle de labre de profondeur de la mer de Corail. La nouvelle espèce de labre Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus est décrite à partir de sept spécimens récoltés en mer de Corail : l’holotype provient du récif Holmes dans la partie occidentale de cette mer, un paratype provient du marché des poisons d’aquarium et cinq autres paratypes ont été récoltés entre 60 et 217 m de profondeur sur le banc des Chesterfield. La nouvelle espèce se distingue par les caractères suivants : 15 rayons aux nageoires pectorales, 16-17 + 5 écailles en ligne latérale, 5 écailles prédorsales médianes, 2 rangées d’écailles sur les joues, 14-15 branchiospines, des grands yeux (8,2- 12,1% LS pour une gamme de tailles de 35-76 mm LS), nageoire caudale émarginée, nageoires pelviennes courtes chez le mâle, une très large bande longitudinale noire sur la partie distale de la nageoire dorsale chez le mâle (absente au milieu de la nageoire chez les plus grands mâles), et une bande submarginale noire sur la nageoire caudale.
Key words. - Labridae - Cirrhilabrus - ISEW - Coral Sea - New species.


During the Indo-Pacific Fish Conference in Noumea, New Caledonia in November, 1997, the senior author was asked by Michel Kulbicki of the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Noumea to examine five unidentified
specimens of Cirrhilabrus in their fish collection taken by trawl and dredge in the Chesterfield Bank region of the Coral Sea. They proved to be an undescribed species, which is not surprising in view of the depth at which the specimens were collected, 60-217 m. No color photographs were taken of the specimens, and no color notes were made. Because of the importance of life color for the identification of species of Cirrhilabrus, it was decided not to describe the species at that time.

On 20 February 1998 the junior author purchased a live individual of this species from an aquarium fish store in Honolulu. The fish was obtained from Quality Marine, a wholesale aquarium fish dealer in Los Angeles. From an
inquiry there, we learned that the specimen had come from Cairns, Queensland, and the only information on the ocality was Coral Sea. No other fish of this species were available, and we were informed that it is rarely encountered. The fish had a piece removed from the caudal fin (apparently from a bite by another fish), so it was decided to keep it in the junior author’s aquarium until the damaged fin could be regenerated. Unfortunately, it died on 9 March and was not discovered before the brilliance of its color had faded. On 4 September 2001 the aquarium fish collector Rene Jensen collected two individuals of this wrasse at Holmes Reef, Coral Sea. Fenton Walsh of Cairns, Queensland recognized it as the species we planned to describe, and knowing we lacked knowledge of live colour, he photographed both fish in his aquarium, preserved them in formalin, and mailed the specimens and the colour slides to us. \

We have made the larger of these two specimens the holotype and have deposited it in the Australian Museum, ydney (AMS), along with one paratype. Other paratypes have been placed in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu (BPBM); Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris (MNHN); and the U.S. National Museum of Natural
History, Washington, D.C. (USNM). Lengths given for specimens are standard length (SL).Methods of counting and measuring of specimens follow Randall and Kunzmann (1998). Data in parentheses in the description refer to paratypes. Table I presents the measurements of all the type specimens as percentages of the standard length. Proportional measurements in the text relative to standard length, body depth, and head length are rounded to the nearest 0.05.



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