Minous pictus Günther 1880

Matsunuma, Mizuki & Motomura, Hiroyuki, 2018, Three new species of the Indo-Pacific stingfish genus Minous (Synanceiidae: Minoinae) with redescriptions of M. trachycephalus (Bleeker 1855) and M. pictus Günther 1880, Zootaxa 4455 (2), pp. 201-257: 241-248

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Minous pictus Günther 1880


Minous pictus Günther 1880 

English name: Painted Stingfish

Figures 21D–F View Figure , 22G, H View Figure , 23D–F View Figure , 24A View Figure , 25 View Figure ; Tables 1–5, 8

Minous pictus Günther 1880: 41  , pl. 18, fig. D (Arafura Sea, south of New Guinea, 09°59′S, 139°42′E; in part; lectotype designated herein); De Beaufort & Briggs 1962: 111 (Arafura Sea; referred to “ holotype ” of the species); Eschmeyer et al. 1979: 467, figs. 1, 8a (Arafura Sea, Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan; in part; description and synonymy; referred to “ holotype ” of the species).

Minous coccineus  not of Alcock 1890: Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola 1984: 110, unnumbered fig. (Western Australia; short description; specimen: CSIRO CA1679); Sainsbury et al. 1985: 94 (Western Australia; short description; specimen: CSIRO CA1679); Allen et al. 2006: 905 (Western Australia; listed, ecological and distributional notes).

Lectotype. BMNH 1879.5.14.371, 45.5 mm SL, Arafura Sea , south of New Guinea, 09°59′S, 139°42′E, 28 fm. (ca. 51 m) depth, Challenger station 188, 10 Sep. 1874.GoogleMaps 

Other specimens examined. Nine specimens, 57.3–101.8 mm SL (all from Australia): CSIROAbout CSIRO CA1679View Materials, 82.0 mm SL, CSIROAbout CSIRO CA1680View Materials, 80.7View Materials mm SL, east of Stewart Island , west of Cape Preston , Western Australia, 20°53′S, 115°53′E, 16 m depth, FRV Soela, 7 Dec. 1979GoogleMaps  ; CSIROAbout CSIRO H 1489-4, 101.8 mm SL, west of Barrow Island , Western Australia, 20°55′S, 115°08′E, 58–68 m depth, Frank and Bryce demersal trawl, FRV Soela, 27 Sep. 1988GoogleMaps  ; NTMAbout NTM S.12920-002, 57.3 mm SL Arafura Sea, northwest of Cape Wessel , Northern Territory, 09°21′S, 135°15′E, 80 m depth, R. Williams, 12 Nov. 1990GoogleMaps  ; NTMAbout NTM S.12973-004, 77.2 mm SL, Arafura Sea , Northern Territory, 09°41′S, 134°41′E, 87 m depth, H. Larson, 30 Oct. 1990GoogleMaps  ; NTMAbout NTM S.12977-004, 70.1 mm SL, Arafura Sea , Northern Territory, 09°42′S, 134°35′E, 92–94 m depth, H. Larson, 30 Oct. 1990GoogleMaps  .

Diagnosis. A species of Minous  distinguished from other congeners by the following combination of characters: 1st dorsal-fin spine much shorter than 2nd dorsal-fin spine, their bases close together; dorsal-fin rays X–XI, 12–13 (modally XI, 12), total rays 22 or 23 (23); anal-fin rays II, 10–11 (II, 10), total rays 12 or 13 (12); lateral-line tubes 17–21 (19); width between interorbital ridges 3.0–4.2% (mean 3.7%) of SL; pelvic-fin base length 15.2–19.3% (17.4%) of SL; body entirely pinkish, with oblique alternating dark and light stripes; pectoral fin inner surface largely yellow, with irregular dark interconnected blotches along rays, together with small dark spots.

Description. Pectoral-fin rays 12, lowermost ray free from membrane; pelvic fin rays I, 5. Vertebrae 11 + 15 = 26. Other meristics and morphometrics shown in Tables 1–5, 8. Body oblong, moderately compressed laterally, without scales ( Fig. 22D–F View Figure ). Lateral-line tubes continuous, except for posteriormost isolated tube on caudal peduncle; each tube with a pore opening to short dermal tube on posterior end, short cirri associated with pore. Single slit-like pore opening above pectoral-fin base behind gill opening, associated with relatively long tentacle (subequal to maximum pore diameter).

Head moderately large, exposed bony surface relatively smooth; interorbital space shallow, interorbital ridges developed, well separated from each other; occipital pit shallow. Anterior and posterior lacrimal spines sharp, posterior spine longer than anterior spine, anterior spine canted anteroventrally, posterior spine posteroventrally; suborbital ridge with numerous small spines; preopercle with 5 spines, uppermost spine behind end of suborbital ridge longest, lower 3 spines blunt, plate-like; 3 sensory pores on underside of each dentary; small pore on each side of symphysial knob; lateral and ventral surfaces of anterior portion of lower jaw with many cirri or tentacles; a pair of relatively long tentacles located between middle and posteriormost sensory pore, tips not reaching posterior margin of maxilla when laid flat.

Snout blunt; dorsal profile of snout relatively steep, forming angle of ca. 40° (ca. 40–50°) to horizontal axis of head and body. Mouth moderately large, slightly oblique, forming angle of ca. 30° to horizontal axis of head and body; posterior margin of maxilla almost reaching a vertical through mid-orbit. Lower jaw tip slightly projected anteriorly when mouth closed. Symphyseal gap separating premaxillary teeth bands very narrow, less than width of each band; both jaws with a band of small, conical teeth, ca. 6 (or 7) and ca. 4 teeth rows at widest portions of upper and lower jaw, respectively; 2 small elongate patches of small conical teeth on vomer; palatine teeth absent.

Eye moderately large, with numerous tentacles on dorsal portion, longest tentacle branched, tips extending beyond dorsal contour of orbit. Eye set relatively low on head, dorsal contour of orbit (about one-fifth of orbit) extending beyond a line between snout tip and dorsal-fin origin. Preocular, supraocular and postocular (surrounding orbit) relatively smooth.

Dorsal-fin origin behind occipital pit, surrounded by parietal spine clefts; 1 st spine  relatively short, thin, much shorter than 2nd spine, its length 33% (20–28%) of 2nd spine length, their bases close together; 3rd spine subequal to 2nd spine, its length 96–102% of 2nd spine length; 3rd to 6th spines gradually becoming longer posteriorly, remaining posterior spines subequal in length; membranes on anterior spinous portion well incised, remaining membranes moderately incised; 2nd and 3rd spines not associated with dermal flaps. Dorsal contour of soft-rayed portion of dorsal fin rounded, longest soft ray length subequal to 2nd spine length; last soft ray attached to caudal peduncle by broad membrane. Anal-fin origin below 9th dorsal-fin spine base; spines tiny, covered with skin; longest anal-fin soft ray length subequal to longest dorsal-fin soft ray length; last soft ray attached to caudal peduncle by broad membrane. Pectoral fin rounded, moderately large, 5th (or 4th) ray longest, its tip extending far beyond (almost reaching in largest specimen) a vertical through middle of anal-fin base but not reaching end of anal-fin base; lowermost ray long, slightly thickened, free from membrane, its base well separated from base of above membrane associated rays, its tip extending slightly beyond a vertical through anal-fin origin when depressed. Pelvic-fin origin below 4th dorsal-fin spine base, spine covered with skin, last soft ray attached to abdomen by broad membrane, end of pelvic-fin base not reaching level of anus; 4th (or 3rd) soft ray longest, its tip extending beyond (not reaching in CSIROAbout CSIRO H 1489-4, 101.8 mm SL) a vertical through anal-fin origin when depressed. Caudal fin moderately long, posterior margin slightly rounded (based on paratypes). All segmented rays in dorsal, anal, pectoral, pelvic and caudal fins unbranched.

Fresh coloration, based on color photographs of non-type specimens ( CSIROAbout CSIRO H1489-4 and CSIROAbout CSIRO CA1679) ( Fig. 24 View Figure ). Head and body entirely pink, darker dorsally, posterior portion of maxilla, ventral portions of head and chest whitish; body with poorly defined oblique alternating dark and light stripes dorsally, extending onto dorsal fin; eye pale yellow, pupil black. Dorsal fin coloration same as that of dorsum, with black tinged margin. Anal fin pink, with large blackish distal portion. Pectoral fin outer surface of pectoral fin black with irregular, poorly defined lighter bands; inner surface with extensive yellow area dorsally, darker ventrally, with many interconnected black blotches along upper rays; lowermost free ray dark pink ( Fig. 24B, D View Figure ); axil without markings. Pelvic fin pink, blackish distally. Caudal fin pale pink without markings.

Coloration of preserved specimens, based on all specimens ( Figs. 22D–F View Figure ). Head and body entirely pale brown (or creamy-white), paler ventrally, with poorly defined oblique alternating dark and light stripes centrally and dorsally, extending onto dorsal fin. Dorsal fin pale creamy-white, tips of spines tinged with black; soft-rayed portion brownish dorsally. Anal fin creamy-white, brownish distally. Pectoral fin outer surface brown with irregular pale bands; inner surface whitish dorsally, brownish ventrally, with many irregularly shaped elongate brown (blackish) blotches along rays; lowermost free ray creamy-white ( Fig. 25D–F View Figure ). Pelvic fin dusky creamywhite, brownish distally. Caudal fin semi-translucent (or pale creamy-white), dusky distally, without distinct markings.

Distribution. Minous pictus  is distributed off northern and northwestern Australia and south of New Guinea (based on examined specimens) ( Fig. 10 View Figure ). Sampling data for seven specimen lots indicated collection depths of 16– 94 m (mostly> 50 m depth). Although the species has previously been reported as M. coccineus  from Australian waters ( Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola 1984; Sainsbury et al. 1985), no records of that species have so far been confirmed from Australia.

Remarks. Minous pictus  was recorded by Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola (1984) and Sainsbury et al. (1985) (as M. coccineus  ) from northwestern Australia. Detailed comparisons of the two species are given below. On the other hand, M. pictus  recorded by Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola (1984) was identified herein as M. groeneveldi  sp. nov. (see above).

Lectotype designation. In a report on fishes collected during the Challenger Expedition, Günther (1880) described M. pictus  on the basis of syntypes from the Arafura Sea, south of New Guinea. Subsequently, De Beaufort & Briggs (1962) redescribed M. pictus  based on a 63 mm-length (most likely total length) “holotype” [BMNH 1879.5.14.371 (caudal fin damaged but estimated total length 63.4 mm)] ( Fig. 26A View Figure ). Eschmeyer et al. (1979) also regarded BMNH 1879.5.14.371 as the holotype of M. pictus  . However, Günther’s (1880) description of M. pictus  was not based solely on a single specimen, noting the lengths of M. pictus  specimens as “ 2 to 2.5 inches ”. Although Günther (1880) did not mention the number of specimens, two syntypes of M. pictus  now exist at BMNH, their estimated total lengths [BMNH 1879.5.14.371, 45.5 mm SL, 63.4 mm TL (= ca. 2.5 inches) and BMNH 1879.5.14.372, 36.6 mm SL, 50.2 mm TL (= ca. 2.0 inches)] being highly consistent with those given by Günther (1880). Accordingly, the two BMNH specimens are regarded herein as the original syntypes of M. pictus  , the larger syntype (BMNH 1879.5.14.371) ( Fig. 26A View Figure ) conforming to the species recognized herein as M. pictus  , having the diagnostic color pattern on the pectoral fin inner surface ( Fig. 25F View Figure ). Moreover, Günther (1880: pl. 18, fig. D) provided an excellent drawing of M. pictus  which was consistent with BMNH 1879.5.14.371. In contrast, BMNH 1879.5.14.372 ( Fig. 26B View Figure ) conformed strongly to M. trachycephalus Bleeker, 1855  in having dorsal-fin rays XI, 10; anal-fin rays II, 8; relatively short second dorsal-fin spine length 14.2% of SL ( Fig. 19C View Figure ); a pore above pectoral-fin base lacking an elongate tentacle; posterior lacrimal spine tip canted posteroventrally ( Fig. 20K View Figure ); and pectoral fin inner surface with hexagonal markings ( Fig. 9F View Figure ). The ICZN (1999: article 74.7, recommendation 74B) recommends that an illustrated specimen should be designated as a lectotype. Therefore, BMNH 1879.5.14.371 is designated here as the lectotype of M. pictus  ( Fig. 26A View Figure ), the remaining syntype, BMNH 1879.5.14.372 (identical to M. trachycephalus  ), becoming a paralectotype ( Fig. 26B View Figure ).

Species comparisons. M. radiatus  and M. pictus  vs other congeners. Although M. coccineus  is most similar to M. pictus  in having the pectoral fin inner surface yellow with many dark blotches, the former possesses relatively small rounded black blotches scattered over the entire fin ( Fig. 5D–F View Figure ), whereas the latter has large elongate, interconnected blotches radiating mostly along the rays ( Figs. 24B, D View Figure , 25D–F View Figure ). Although M. radiatus  also possesses dark markings on a yellow background on the pectoral fin inner surface, such markings comprise narrow stripes radiating mostly along the rays ( Figs. 23B, D, F View Figure , 25A–C View Figure ). Although the holotype of M. coccineus  was not available for this study, Alcock (1890) stated that it had a dark brown pectoral fin inner surface with canary yellow lines, forming a hexagonal pattern when fresh, such being consistent with the specimens identified herein as M. coccineus  . Minous pictus  is further distinguished from M. coccineus  by having more lateral-line tubes [17–21 (modally 19) in the former vs 15–18 (17) in the latter] (Table 3).

Minous radiatus  and M. pictus  are readily distinguished from M. andriashevi  , M. monodactylus  , M. quincarinatus  , M. usachevi  and M. versicolor  ( Fig. 3A–F View Figure ), having the first dorsal-fin spine much shorter than the second spine (first spine length 26–44% and 20–33% of second spine length in M. radiatus  and M. pictus  , respectively) and their bases close together, whereas both spines are of similar length with well separated bases in the latter five species. Moreover, M. radiatus  and M. pictus  differ from M. inermis  and M. longimanus  ( Fig. 3I, J View Figure ) in having a relatively short pectoral fin [36.0–47.3% (mean 40.8%) of SL in M. radiatus  and 39.7–44.3% (42.1%) of SL in M. pictus  ], its tip just reaching a vertical through the mid-point of the anal-fin base, whereas the posterior tip of the pectoral fin [fin length 45.2–59.3% (51.2%) of SL in M. inermis  and 51.7–63.6% (57.9%) of SL in M. longimanus  ] almost reaches or extends beyond the end of the anal-fin base in the latter two species.

TABLE 8. Selected meristic and morphometric values (expressed as percentages of standard length) recorded from specimens of Minous radiatus  sp. nov. and M. pictus  .

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TABLE 8. (Continued)

Gill raker counts include upper + lower = total gill rakers. Modes and means include all specimens.

Minous dempsterae  is separable from M. radiatus  and M. pictus  due to numerous small light colored blotches scattered on a dark pectoral fin inner surface in preserved specimens ( Fig. 5C View Figure ), compared to dark markings on a lighter background in the latter two species ( Fig. 25 View Figure ). Minous radiatus  and M. pictus  differ from M. pusillus  , M. roseus  , M. groeneveldi  and M. trachycephalus  in having oblique alternating dark and light stripes on the dorsum and dorsal fin (vs. absent in the latter), and differing counts of dorsal- and anal-fin rays and gill rakers (see Tables 1, 2, 5).

M. radiatus  vs M. pictus  . Minous radiatus  and M. pictus  share most diagnostic characters, including fin formula, overall body appearance and coloration. However, M. radiatus  can be distinguished from M. pictus  by having fewer lateral-line tubes [16–19 (modally 17) in the former vs 17–21 (19) in the latter], a narrower space between the interorbital ridges [1.4–3.7% (mean 2.9%) of SL vs 3.0–4.2% (3.7%) of SL] ( Fig. 27A View Figure ) and shorter pelvic-fin base length [12.2–16.6% (14.4%) of SL vs 15.2–19.3% (17.4%) of SL] ( Fig. 27B View Figure ). Additionally, M. radiatus  has the dorsal half of the pectoral fin inner surface yellow (lighter in preserved specimens), with narrow dark stripes radiating along the rays and small dark spots, blotches or broken lines on the membranes ( Figs. 23B, D, F View Figure , 25A–C View Figure ), compared with elongate dark interconnected blotches radiating mostly along the rays in M. pictus  ( Figs. 24B, D View Figure , 25D–F View Figure ). The reddish body in M. radiatus  with brownish dorsum and many distinct alternating light and dark markings (creamy-white body with dark markings on the dorsum in preserved specimens) ( Figs. 22A–C View Figure , 23A, C, E View Figure ) contrasts with the entirely pinkish body with pale alternating light and dark stripes (creamy-white body with pale markings on the dorsum) of M. pictus  ( Figs. 22D–F View Figure , 24A, C View Figure ).


Australian National Fish Collection


Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences














Minous pictus Günther 1880

Matsunuma, Mizuki & Motomura, Hiroyuki 2018


Minous pictus Günther 1880 : 41

Günther 1880 : 41 De Beaufort & Briggs 1962 : 111 Eschmeyer et al. 1979 : 467


Minous coccineus

Gloerfelt-Tarp & Kailola 1984 : 110 Sainsbury et al. 1985 : 94 Allen et al. 2006 : 905