Brachionichthys australis Last, Gledhill & Holmes

Last, Peter R. & Gledhill Csiro, Daniel C., 2009, A revision of the Australian handfishes (Lophiiformes: Brachionichthyidae), with descriptions of three new genera and nine new species 2252, Zootaxa 2252 (1), pp. 1-77: 13-15

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.2252.1.1

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/E94B87D0-FFED-FF92-7CD9-C220BD9C0C78

treatment provided by

Felipe

scientific name

Brachionichthys australis Last, Gledhill & Holmes
status

 

Brachionichthys australis Last, Gledhill & Holmes  

Figs 2 View FIGURE 2 , 3 View FIGURE 3 , 7, 8; Tables 7–10

Brachionichthys hirsutus   (not Lacepède): Günther, 1880: 28 [misidentification]

Brachionichthys sp. 2   : Last, Scott & Talbot, 1983: 252–253, fig. 22.4.

Brachionichthys sp.   : Hutchins & Swainston, 1986: 34, fig. 111.

Brachionichthys sp.   : Gomon, Glover & Kuiter, 1994: 283–284, fig. 252.

Brachionichthys australis Last, Gledhill & Holmes, 2007: 55–60   View Cited Treatment , figs 1, 2; Disaster Bay, southeastern Australia [original description].

Holotype. CSIRO H 4451–02 View Materials , 45.9 mm SL, E of Disaster Bay , New South Wales, 37° 18′S, 150° 17E, 125 m, 7 Dec. 1996. GoogleMaps  

Additional material. 50 specimens (28–65 mm SL): AMS I 23869 View Materials –001, 46.4 mm SL, east of Batemans Bay   , New South Wales, 35° 44'S, 150° 36'E, 216 m, 1 Dec. 1976; AMS I 27253 View Materials –003, 40 mm SL, south-east of Ulladulla GoogleMaps   , New South Wales, 35° 29'S, 150° 46'E, 219 m, 2 Aug. 1977; AMS I 38077 View Materials –001, 45.6 mm SL, south-west of Lakes Entrance, Bass Strait GoogleMaps   , Victoria, 38° 25'S, 147° 19'E, 120 m, 29 Aug. 1994; AMS I 40310 View Materials – 003 GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 50.1 and 58.4 mm SL, south-east of Bermagui, New South Wales, 36° 44'S, 150° 08'E, 97– 101 m, 12 Apr. 2000; AMS I 40310 View Materials –004, 50.6 mm SL, south-east of Bermagui GoogleMaps   , New South Wales, 36° 44'S, 150° 08'E, 97–101 m, 12 Apr. 2000; AMS I 40311 View Materials –004 GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 50.9 and 51 mm SL, south-east of Bermagui , New South Wales, 36° 37'S, 150° 10'E, 115 m, 13 Apr. 2000; AMS I 40314 View Materials –001 GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 41.2 and 41.6 mm SL, data as for previous lot; AMS I 43755 View Materials –009, 40.7 mm SL, no other data; MNHN 1960– 0338 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 3 specimens, 60–65 mm SL, Tuggerah Lakes , New South Wales, 33° 20'S, 151° 31'E, date unknown; NMV A 13023 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 46.8 and 49.4 mm SL, south-east of Merimbula , New South Wales, 36° 53'S, 150° 12'E, 119– 117 m, 5 Aug. 1993; NMV A 13024 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 7 specimens, 29.4–42.9 mm SL, Disaster Bay , New South Wales, 37° 16'S, 149° 58'E, 24–29 m, 11 Aug. 1993; NMV A 13025 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 3 specimens, 28.2–45.9 mm SL, Disaster Bay , New South Wales, 37° 17'S, 149° 59'E, 26–33 m, 11 Aug. 1993; NMV A 20795 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 32.2 and 42.5 mm SL, east of Lakes Entrance , Victoria, 37° 53'S, 148° 00'E, 1 Oct. 1983; NMV A 22170 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 50.8 mm SL, south-west of Portland , Victoria, 38° 36'S, 141° 11'E, 30 Mar. 2001; QM I 21040 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 39.5 and 44.1 mm SL, east of Stradbroke Island , Queensland, 27° 35'S, 153° 50'E, 210 m, 15 Dec. 1982; QM I 33334 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 39.2 and 39.3 mm SL, east of Stradbroke Island , Queensland, 27° 43'S, 153° 49'E, 165 m, 24 Jul. 2002; QM I 33949 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 2 specimens, 36.5 and 39.8 mm SL, east of Stradbroke Island , Queensland, 27° 46'S, 153° 49'E, 163 m, 24 Jul. 2002; QM I 34045 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 51.6 mm SL, east of Stradbroke Island , Queensland, 27° 49'S, 153° 50'E, 161–165 m, 24 Jul. 2002; QVMT 1979.5 GoogleMaps   . 48, 47.8 mm SL, off Eddystone Point , Tasmania, ca. 41° 00'S, 148° 22'E, 37 m, QVMT 1979.5 GoogleMaps   . 142, 28.1 mm SL, off St Helens , Tasmania, ca. 41° 18'S, 148° 20'E, Jun. 1975; QVMT GoogleMaps   2005.5.1, 53.3 mm SL, north-east Tasmania, 40° 53'S, 148° 20'E, 100 m, 16 Mar. 2005; SAMA F 10465 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 5 specimens, 30.3–34.6 mm SL, south-west of Eucla , Western Australia, 33° 17'S, 128° 12'E; SAMA F 10482 View Materials GoogleMaps   , 6 specimens, 29.2–41.3, Murray Canyons, south of Kangaroo Island , South Australia, 36° 30'S, 136° 42'E GoogleMaps   .

Material from Last et al. (2007). 39 paratypes (13–64 mm SL): CSIRO A 4316 View Materials   , CSIRO H 3505–03 View Materials   , CSIRO H 3530–02 View Materials   , CSIRO H 3794–01 View Materials   , CSIRO H 3795–02 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4114–06 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4114–07 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4259–02 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4259–03 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4448–03 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4460–02 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4465–01 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4465–02 View Materials   , CSIRO H 4466–02 View Materials   , CSIRO H 5699–01 View Materials   , CSIRO T 1991–01   , CSIRO T 1992–01   , NMV A 226 View Materials   , NMV A 1619 View Materials   , NMV A 2617 View Materials   , NMV A 2668 View Materials   , NMV A 2670 View Materials   , NMV A 2675 View Materials   , NMV A 4314 View Materials   , NMV A 8765 View Materials   , NMV A 9043 View Materials   , NMV A 11462 View Materials   , NMV A 29406 View Materials –001 View Materials   , NMV A 29410 View Materials –001 View Materials   , NMV A 29411 View Materials –001 View Materials   , NMV A 29412 View Materials –001 View Materials   , TMH D 246 View Materials   .

Diagnosis. Member of the genus Brachionichthys   with a combination of the following characters: esca small, 8–24 (mean 14)% of illicium length (including esca); illicium very elongate, length 23–28% SL, 1.8– 2.1 times in head length; apex of adpressed illicium reaching well behind base of third dorsal-fin spine; esca narrowly filamentous, barely thicker than illicial stem, its filaments multiple, dense, obscure to somewhat globate; eye large, horizontal diameter mainly less than 5.4 times in head, 8.6–9.4% SL; upper lip fleshy; long first dorsal-fin base (length 25–30% SL); second dorsal-fin rays 16–18 (mean 17), length of fin base 55–61 (mean 58)% SL; length of second dorsal-fin spine 1.1–1.4 times length of longest ray of second dorsal fin; vertebrae 22–23; upper body lightly covered with longitudinal streak-like markings rather than spots; caudal fin with sparse coverage of large dark spots, not forming a broad submarginal bar.

Size. To at least 65 mm SL (about 85 mm TL), more commonly 35–50 mm SL; smallest specimen examined 13.4 mm SL. Newly hatched young and undamaged, fully developed egg capsule diameter unknown; egg diameter 1.7–1.9 mm.

Distribution. Demersal on the continental shelf and upper slope off southern and eastern Australia; east of Stradbroke Island, Queensland (27° 35′S, 153° 50′E), to Middini Beach, in the Great Australian Bight, Western Australia (33° 17′S, 127° 31′E); south to at least the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania (near 43° 03′S, 147° 20E), but not yet recorded from the west coast. Occurs most frequently on soft substrates in 40– 150 m depth, but to at least 220 m and inshore to 18 m; a specimen taken off Bermagui (New South Wales) was trawled in 123–277 m but the exact depth of capture cannot be determined.

Etymology. Epithet based on australis Latin   for southern, in reference to its widespread temperate distribution. Vernacular name: Australian spotted handfish (Last et al., 2007).

Comparisons. Brachionichthys australis   and B. hirsutus   are superficially similar, but can be distinguished by a combination of coloration, meristics and selected morphometrics, as well as by molecular analysis (Last et al., 2007). Brachionichthys australis   has a longer illicium (length 23–28% vs. 19–20% SL; 1.8–2.1 vs. 2.3–2.4 in head length) with a relatively smaller esca (length 8–24%, mean 14% vs. 15–26%, mean 20% of illicium length), longer second dorsal-fin spine (length 1.1–1.4 vs. 0.7–1.0 times length of longest ray of second dorsal fin), larger eye (diameter mainly less than 5.4 rather than exceeding 5.4 in head), and a shorter second dorsal-fin base (55–61, mean 58% vs. 61–64, mean 62% SL) with fewer fin rays (16–18, mainly 17 vs. 17–19, mainly 18). In adults of B. australis   , the upper body is lightly covered with thin streaklike markings (rather than spotted as in B. hirsutus   ) and the caudal fin is sparsely spotted (densely covered with fine spots). Juveniles of B. australis   are similar to adults in form and colour, but differ from similar-size juveniles of B. hirsutus   in having much larger caudal and pelvic fins, and a larger eye (Last et al., 2007). Juveniles of B. australis   have large dark spots over the caudal fin (with a dark submarginal caudal bar in B. hirsutus   juveniles), spots are evenly distributed over the soft dorsal fin (rather than largely absent on central fin, markings concentrated anteriorly and posteriorly and coalescing with dark saddles on body), slightly longer, thinner scale spination, and the second dorsal-fin spine (when depressed) reaches to (or just behind) the second dorsal-fin origin (rather than falling well short of second dorsal fin).

Remarks. The eastern distribution of Brachionichthys australis   has been extended greatly based on a summary of all available data. Last et al. (2007) give a northern limit off the south coast of New South Wales (i.e. off Bermagui, 36° 23′S). However, material provided by Jeff Johnson from the Queensland Museum (QM I 21040 View Materials , QM I 33334 View Materials , QM I 33949 View Materials and QM I 34045 View Materials ) has extended its range north to southern Queensland (i.e. off Stradbroke Island, 27° 35′S). Additional material was collected by the FRV Kapala   between these locations off New South Wales (Ken Graham, pers. comm.) with a northern limit of Newcastle (ca. 33° 11′S), and another three specimens held at the MNHN, Paris, were collected off the Tuggerah Lakes (ca. 33° 20′S 151° 31′E). The FRV Kapala   data is based on 21 individuals, some of which have been deposited in the Australian Museum, and their capture depths ranged from 55– 120 m. Deepwater specimens (ca. 200 m depth) reported as B. hirsutus   by Günther (1880) off Twofold Bay (New South Wales), and historical records off New South Wales ( McCulloch, 1929) and Victoria (Whitley, 1949), are most likely to be of B. australis   .

Some morphological differences exist in populations of B. australis   . Specimens from southern Queensland have a more strongly contrasted colour pattern, being variably brownish above and almost white below (vs. more uniform with prominent linear markings in material from South Australia and Western Australia), a large and pronounced, dark brown opercular blotch (opercular blotch obscure or absent); taller first dorsal-fin spines, relatively larger spots on fins (spots on dorsal fins and caudal fins much smaller and less pronounced), and very elongate spinules without fleshy bases (spinules appearing shorter and with fleshy bases). A molecular study of populations across the range of B. australis   may provide evidence of additional species.

CSIRO

Australian National Fish Collection

NMV

Museum Victoria

QM

Queensland Museum

SAMA

South Australia Museum

TMH

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Actinopterygii

Order

Lophiiformes

Family

Brachionichthyidae

Genus

Brachionichthys

Loc

Brachionichthys australis Last, Gledhill & Holmes

Last, Peter R. & Gledhill Csiro, Daniel C. 2009
2009
Loc

Brachionichthys australis Last, Gledhill & Holmes, 2007: 55–60

Last, P. R. & Gledhill, D. C. & Holmes, B. H. 2007: 60
2007
Loc

Brachionichthys sp.

Gomon, M. F. & Glover, J. C. M. & Kuiter, R. H. 1994: 283
1994
Loc

Brachionichthys sp.

Hutchins, B. & Swainston, R. 1986: 34
1986
Loc

Brachionichthys sp. 2

Last, P. R. & Scott, E. O. G. & Talbot, F. H. 1983: 252
1983
Loc

Brachionichthys hirsutus

Gunther, A. 1880: 28
1880