Upeneus dimipavlov, Uiblein & Motomura, 2021

Uiblein, Franz & Motomura, Hiroyuki, 2021, Three new goatfishes of the genus Upeneus from the Eastern Indian Ocean and Western Pacific, with an updated taxonomic account for U. itoui (Mullidae: japonicus-species group), Zootaxa 4938 (3), pp. 298-324: 302-304

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Upeneus dimipavlov

n. sp.

Upeneus dimipavlov   n. sp.

Pavlov’s Goatfish

( Figures 1A View FIGURE 1 , 2–6 View FIGURE 2 View FIGURE 3 View FIGURE 4 View FIGURE 5 View FIGURE 6 ; Tables 2, 3)

Upeneus guttatus Day, 1868   , in part: Uiblein et al. 2017a

Material examined. Holotype. VNMN-I 2056 (formerly HIFIRE F 58334 View Materials ), 120 mm SL, South China Sea , S-central Vietnam, Khan Hoa Province , Nha Trang, Bai Tre Bay, N of Hon Tre Island, 12°13.35′ N, 109°18.50′ E, obtained from hookah divers, ca. 15 m depth, Dimitri A. Pavlov, 19-01-2012 (photo of fresh HT, Figure 1A View FIGURE 1 ). GoogleMaps  

Paratypes (n = 10, 111– 134 mm SL). South China Sea , S-central Vietnam, Khan Hoa Province , Nha Trang, Xom Moi Market: HIFIRE F 58183 View Materials , 129 mm SL; HIFIRE F 58184 View Materials , 117 mm SL; NHMO J7223 View Materials (formerly HIFIRE F 58185 View Materials ), 124 mm SL; MNHN 2020-0474 View Materials (formerly HIFIRE F 58186 View Materials ), 122 mm SL; NMMBP 34705 View Materials (formerly HIFIRE F 58187 View Materials ), 111 mm SL; KAUM–I. 146834 (formerly HIFIRE F 58188 View Materials ), 123 mm SL; AMS I.49516-001 (formerly HIFIRE F 58189 View Materials ), 122 mm SL; CAS-ICH 247243 (formerly HIFIRE F 58190 View Materials ), 122 mm SL; Nha Trang fish market: VNMN-I 2057 (formerly HIFIRE F 58174 View Materials ), 134 mm SL; VNMN-I 2058 (formerly HIFIRE F 58177 View Materials ), 128 mm SL   .

Diagnosis. Dorsal fins VII + 9; pectoral fins 14–15; gill rakers 6–7 + 16–18 = 22–25; body nearly rounded and moderately elongate; measurements as % SL: body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 23–25; body depth at anal-fin origin 20–22; caudal-peduncle depth 9.7–10; caudal-peduncle width 4.8–5.4; maximum head depth 19–20; head depth through eye 16–17; head length 28–30; snout length 11–13; orbit length 5.7–6.8; upper-jaw length 11–12; barbel length 19–21; caudal-fin length 27–29; anal-fin height 16–18; pelvic-fin length 20–22; pectoral-fin length 18–20; first dorsal-fin height 19–21; dorsal-fin spines proportionally decreasing in height; second dorsal-fin height 16–18; total oblique bars on caudal fin 12 – 14, upper caudal-fin lobe with 5–6 red mostly straight bars; lower caudal-fin lobe with 7–8 short red bars along ventral margin which connect dorsally to a red stripe, the latter slightly wider than orbit diameter, and with about 3 short red or reddish-grey bars along dorsal margin of fin lobe that do not correspond with bars on ventral-lobe margin; caudal-fin colour patterns partly or completely lost after preservation; dorsal fins in fresh fish with 3–4 thin red or brown stripes, may be weakly retained in preservative; barbels rose whitish or white when fresh; body colour in freshly deceased specimens dorsally pale reddish orange, ventral half creamy white, sometimes with red patches or blotches, ventral margin pale creamy white; no conspicuous mid-lateral body stripe; head dorsally pale red and silvery white ventrally, with red patches below and behind eyes; body and head dorsally pale brown or brown and ventrally white when preserved.

Description. Measurements in % SL and counts are given in Table 3; morphometric data as ratios of SL for holotype, data for paratypes in brackets: body nearly rounded, rather robust and moderately elongate, body depth at first dorsal-fin origin 4.2 [4.1–4.4]; body depth at anal-fin origin 4.9 [4.6–5.0]; head depth through eye 6.3 [6.0– 6.4]; head length 3.4 [3.4–3.5], larger than maximum body depth and subequal to caudal-fin length (3.6 [3.4–3.8]); first dorsal-fin height 5.0 [4.8–5.4], subequal to barbel length (5.0 [4.7–5.4]) and larger than second dorsal-fin height (6.2 [5.7–6.2]); pelvic-fin length 4.9 [4.5–5.0], larger than pectoral-fin length (5.1 [5.1–5.5]) and subequal to body depth at anal-fin origin; caudal-peduncle depth 10 [9.8–10], clearly larger than orbit length (15 [15–17]); and caudal-peduncle width 19 [19–21], mostly larger than pectoral-fin width (22 [21–23]).

Colour. Fresh HT ( Figure 1A View FIGURE 1 ). Body pale red orange above lateral line and creamy white below, ventral side pale creamy white; several red sports and blotches from pelvic-fin base and behind opercle at eye level to level of second dorsal-fin origin; lateral line indistinct, no mid-lateral body stripe; dorsal margin of head from snout tip to above eye pale red; silvery-pale beige mouth region followed by a large bright-red patch below eye and another one posteriorly on bony opercle with three bright-red blotches just above; iris bright red; barbels whitish rose; caudal fin with five oblique, mostly straight red bars of approximately half pupil width on upper lobe, with white hyaline interspaces between bars increasing in width from being narrower than bar width proximally to double-bar width distally; tip of upper caudal-fin lobe white hyaline; lower caudal-fin lobe with seven very short red bars along ventral margin covering up to four ventral-most fin rays; creamy-hyaline interspaces between bars of less than bar width proximally with increasing width distally, continued as a pale creamy stripe behind distal-most seventh bar, not reaching lobe tip; broad red stripe along middle of lower caudal-fin lobe slightly wider than orbit diameter, stripe extending from caudal-fin base to lower lobe tip; four red bars with dark-grey tips dorsally on lower caudal-fin lobe along lobe margin being slightly wider than bars on ventral side of lobe and with white-hyaline interspaces of similar width as bars, the interspaces connecting to red stripe; first dorsal fin with hyaline-red spots on and around spines forming a dotted pattern of four horizontal stripes; first dorsal-fin tip weakly pale-whitish pigmented; second dorsal fin whitish hyaline with four red horizontal stripes, one at fin base and one at fin tip; pectoral, pelvic and anal fins hyaline creamy; pelvic fins with pale-red pigmentation on spine tip and anterior four rays.

Preserved HT. Dark brown dorsally from mouth and below eye to pectoral-fin origin and distal end of lateral line near caudal-fin base; creamy white ventrally from cheeks and below pelvic-fin origin to ventral half of caudalfin base; caudal-fin bars and stripe and dorsal-fin pigmentation only faintly retained; other fins and barbels pale.

Etymology. The name “ dimipavlov   ” is used as a composed noun in apposition. It honours the ichthyologist Dr. Dimitri Alexandrovich “Dimi” Pavlov, Lomonosov University, Moscow, Russia, for collecting, photographing and donating mullid specimens from Vietnam (including the holotype of Upeneus dimipavlov   ) for taxonomic research.

Distribution, habitat, size. Currently only known from Nha Trang, S-central Vietnam; possibly occurs on sandy bottoms near reefs; depth ca. 15 m; attains 134 mm SL.

Remarks. The nearly rounded, robust body is a typical characteristic of this species and rather unique among japonicus   -group species. The photograph of the HT ( Figure 1A View FIGURE 1 ) is the only high-quality colour documentation of fresh fish available so far. In photos of several PT’s made during or after collection at fish markets the body colour is less intense and in two specimens barbel colour is white instead of whitish rose. After specimens were kept in a refrigerator over several days or thawed, the body and head became almost entirely red which is most likely an artefact and does not reflect natural colouration. This species has been encountered at fish markets near the type locality, indicating local commercial value.


Natural History Museum, University of Oslo