Gill, Anthony C. & Zajonz, Uwe, 2011, Pseudochromine and pseudoplesiopine dottyback fishes from the Socotra Archipelago, Indian Ocean, with descriptions of two new species of Pseudochromis Rüppell (Perciformes: Pseudochromidae), Zootaxa 3106, pp. 1-23: 20-21

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.201782

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name



Pseudochromis  sp.

Figure 14View FIGURE 14; Table 6 A single specimen of a species related to P. a ure o li ne a tu s Gill (2004), P. m e l a s Lubbock (1977), P. p e s i Lubbock (1975) and P. punctatus Kotthaus (1970)  was collected from Darsa Island by the second author. Species within this complex differ from congeners in having the following combination of characters: segmented dorsal-fin rays 25–27 (usually 26); segmented anal-fin rays 14–16 (usually 15); scales in lateral series 39–45; and (except in the dark form of P. m e l a s) similar preserved colorations (dark spot on opercular flap; upper part of head and body brown to dark greyish brown, the remainder of head and body abruptly pale yellow to pale brown). They are differentiated from each other on the basis of a combination of coloration, meristic and morphometric characters ( Table 6). The Socotra specimen exhibits a unique combination of these characters, suggesting that it is perhaps a new species. However, we suspect that it is actually referable to P. punctatus  . In concluding this, we are influenced to some extent by the distribution of that species, which otherwise spans the Al Hallaniyah ( Kuria Muria) Islands, southern Oman, and off Obia, Somalia. It differs from other P. punctatus  specimens in two characters: anal-fin spots absent (versus present); and middle dorsal-fin ray to anal-fin origin 28.4 % SL (versus 23.1 –25.0 % SL). However, the former character may simply reflect the relatively small size of the specimen (39.4 mm SL), as anal-fin spots are present only in relatively large specimens of P. punctatus  (larger than about 55 mm SL). The apparent difference in body depth possibly reflects the small sample sizes (only five comparative specimens of P. punctatus  are known, the holotype from Somalia and four specimens from southern Oman). Further material is needed to refine our identification of the Socotran specimen.

Besides the single voucher specimen, similar looking individuals were recorded from Acropora  dominated communities in 9–12 m depth from Darsa Island (ST- 345, 366), and once from a sparse hard coral community on sand-inundated rock platform in 4–5 m depth at the N coast of Socotra. The visual records are rather tentative. The species is the rarest dottyback species collected and its distribution might not span the western islands.

Material examined. SMF 29232View Materials, 1: 39.4 mm SL, Socotra Archipelago, NE coast of Darsa Island at anchorage, 12 o07'03"N 53 o 18 ' 18 "E, small coral blocks on slightly sloping sand bottom, 27–29 m, U. Zajonz, 8 April 2000 (ST- 723 b).


Forschungsinstitut und Natur-Museum Senckenberg