Hastings, Philip A. & Springer, Victor G., 2009, Recognizing diversity in blennioid fish nomenclature (Teleostei: Blennioidei), Zootaxa 2120, pp. 3-14: 6-8

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1) Aspidontus  . Aspidontus taeniatus Quoy & Gaimard  (type locality: Guam, Marianas Islands) is widely distributed across the Indo-west and central Pacific where it mimics the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus (Valenciennes)  ( Springer & Smith-Vaniz, 1972; Smith-Vaniz, 1976, 1987). Smith-Vaniz (1976) recognized two subspecies, the nominate occurring throughout the western and central Pacific, and A. t. tractus  Fowler (type locality: Zanzibar, Africa) from the Indian Ocean and Red Sea. These allopatric forms differ in coloration, with A. t. tractus  having a prominent black bar on the fleshy pectoral-fin base that is absent in A. t. taeniatus  (although the only specimen available from the Cocos-Keeling Islands has only a faint indication of the bar; Smith-Vaniz, 1976). The model, L. dimidiatus  , also possesses a similar bar across the pectoral-fin base in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea that is absent from populations throughout the remainder of its range ( Springer & Smith-Vaniz, 1972). Following the lead of Smith-Vaniz (1987) who elevated two allopatric color morphs of Meiacanthus  ( M. oualanensis  and M. atrodorsalis  ) to full species, we recognize these two forms of Aspidontus  as species. This is consistent with the treatment of Heemstra & Heemstra (2004) who recognized A. tractus  as the species present in South African waters.

2) Plagiotremus  . Plagiotremus laudandus laudandus (Whitley)  (type locality: New Caledonia) is widely distributed in the central and western Pacific Ocean with the exception of the Fiji Islands. At that locality it is replaced by Plagiotremus laudandus flavus Smith-Vaniz. The  two forms differ in coloration ( Smith-Vaniz, 1976, 1987; Smith-Vaniz et al., 2001): P. l. flavus  is entirely yellow, while P. l. laudandus  is variously pigmented with dark stripes. Both of these forms mimic species of the blenniid genus Meiacanthus  and their distributions closely parallel those of their model species, with the yellow form, P. l. flavus  , co-occurring with the yellow species Meiacanthus oualanensis (Günther)  in the Fiji Islands ( Smith-Vaniz, 1976, 1987). We elect to elevate them to species status following a similar conclusion made for the two allopatric color morphs of their model Meiacanthus  ( M. oualanensis  and M. atrodorsalis  ) by Smith-Vaniz (1987).

3) Ophioblennius  . Springer (1962) reviewed the salariine genus Ophioblennius  , recognizing two species, each with two subspecies. In the Pacific, Ophioblennius steindachneri steindachneri  Jordan & Evermann (type locality: near Mazatlán, Mexico) is found throughout the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean mainland from Mexico to Peru and at the oceanic islands of Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo and Revillagegido. Ophioblennius steindachneri clippertonensis Springer  is endemic to Clipperton Atoll. These forms differ in number of dorsal-fin rays (33-35, modally 34 in steindachneri  versus 34-36, modally 35 in clippertonensis  ), number of anal-fin rays (24-26, modally 25 in steindachneri  versus 25-27, modally 26 in clippertonensis  ), and total number of nuchal cirri (8-19, average 11.2-13.7 1 depending on locality, in steindachneri  versus 6-14, average 9.7 1, in clippertonensis  ). In addition, significant population differentiation in cytochrome b was demonstrated for the Clipperton population relative to other eastern Pacific populations ( Muss et al., 2001). While these authors indicated that the level of genetic differentiation was not at the level of most species, other authors have recognized similar levels of genetic divergence as indicative of species level differences ( Rocha et al., 2007). This, together with the well-documented differences in morphology, which Muss et al. (2001) ignored, clearly justifies recognition of these two forms as distinct species.

4) Ophioblennius  . Springer (1962) recognized two Atlantic subspecies, Ophioblennius atlanticus atlanticus (Valenciennes)  from the west coast of Africa and adjacent islands and the east coast of Brazil (type locality: Madeira) and Ophioblennius atlanticus macclurei (Silvester)  from throughout the Caribbean (type locality: Puerto Rico). These forms differ in number of dorsal-fin rays (33-36, modally 34 in atlanticus  versus 31-33, modally 32 in macclurei  ) and number of anal-fin rays (24-25, modally 25 in atlanticus  versus 22-24, modally 23 in macclurei  ). Based on relatively few specimens, Springer (1962) reluctantly included the Brazilian population with the eastern Atlantic population under O. a. atlanticus  but noted that the name O. trinitatis Ribeiro  (type locality: Trindade Island) was available should additional material and data become available that showed them to be distinct. Muss et al. (2001) surveyed variation in the cytochrome b gene from Ophioblennius  populations throughout the Atlantic basin, reporting significant structure that parallels the biogeographic regions designated by earlier workers and coincides with the subspecies designated by Springer (1962). In addition they found significant differences between the eastern Atlantic and Brazilian populations of this genus. Consequently, we recognize three species of Ophioblennius  in the Atlantic: O. atlanticus  from the eastern Atlantic, O. macclurei  from the northwestern Atlantic, and O. trinitatis  from the southwestern Atlantic. These taxa were also recognized as distinct species in a recent paper on biogeography of Atlantic reef fishes (Floeter et al., 2007). This does not, however, fully resolve the status of all Atlantic Ophioblennius  . Muss et al. (2001) demonstrated significant genetic differences among populations found on oceanic islands of the Atlantic and C. Baldwin (personal communication) reports morphological evidence supporting the recognition of additional species in the Atlantic basin.

1. Springer (1962) gave only frequency distributions, which we have averaged.

5) Atrosalarias  . Springer & Smith-Vaniz (1968) reviewed the systematics of the salariine genus Atrosalarias  , recognizing one species with two subspecies; another species, Atrosalarias hosokawai  , was recently described ( Suzuki & Senou, 1999) from the western Pacific. Atrosalarias fuscus fuscus (Rüppell)  is found in the Indian Ocean including the Red Sea (type locality: Eritrea, Red Sea), and Atrosalarias fuscus holomelas (Günther)  is found primarily in the southern portion of the central and western Pacific Ocean (type locality: Cebu, Philippine Islands). These forms differ primarily in the number of dorsal-fin spines (consistently 11 in fuscus  versus 9-11, strongly modally 10, in holomelas  ) and are here recognized as distinct species.

6) Entomacrodus  . Entomacrodus thalassinus  ( Jordan & Seale) was described based on specimens from Western Samoa and later recorded from the central Pacific to the Indian Ocean. Entomacrodus thalassinus longicirrus Springer  was described from the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand (type locality: Kram Islands, Gulf of Thailand) and subsequently recorded from Taiwan (Springer, 1972). The two forms differ in length of the supraorbital cirrus (significantly longer in longicirrus  ), pigmentation (darker in longicirrus  ) and body size (larger in longicirrus  ). Although designated as a subspecies ( Springer, 1967), these differences warrant recognition of these forms as separate species.

7) Entomacrodus  . Entomacrodus stellifer  ( Jordan & Snyder) was originally described based on specimens from Wakanoura, Japan. Entomacrodus lighti (Herre)  , described based on specimens from Dodd Island, Amoy, China, was considered a subspecies of stellifer  by Springer (1967). They differ in coloration (in stellifer  the side of the body has dark bands either broken up by reticulations, or with inclusions of fine pale spots or dashes, while in lighti  the side of the body is more-or-less uniformly dark) and in pattern of sexual dimorphism (selected meristic characters are dimorphic in lighti  , but not in stellifer  ). These differences warrant recognition of these as separate species whose distributions partially parallel those of E. thalassinus  and E. longicirrus  (see above; Table 1).

8) Microlipophrys  . Zander (1986 a) recognized two subspecies of Microlipophrys nigriceps (Vinciguerra)  (formerly in the genus Lipophrys  ), the nominate form from coastal regions of the northern Mediterranean (type locality: Brazza Island, Dalmatia), and Microlipophrys nigriceps portmahonis (Castaños)  , from the southern Mediterranean and off the Balearics (type locality: Menorca, Balearic Islands). Bath (1996) also considered Lipophrys nigriceps cypriacus (Bath)  as a valid subspecies, although Zander (1986 a) had previously synonymized it with L. n. portmahonis  . These forms differ in the presence of a black caudal peduncle spot in portmahonis and cypriacus that is absent in nigriceps  ( Zander, 1986 a). In addition, the northern form ( nigriceps  ) exhibits overall reduced pigmentation associated with its cave-dwelling habits, as well as considerable color variation within a single population ( Zander, 1980). Although warranting further study, we follow recent workers on these fishes (e.g., Almada, et al., 2001) in considering them conspecific.