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Shore Fishes of Easter Island

Shore Fishes of Easter Island

John E. Randall
Alfredo Cea
Copyright Date: 2011
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  • Book Info
    Shore Fishes of Easter Island
    Book Description:

    Easter Island (Rapanui) is the most remote inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean and the easternmost in Oceania. Much has been written on the origin of its first inhabitants and the enormous stone statues they carved and erected, but little exists on the island's biota. Knowing that very few species of fishes had been reported for Easter Island, John Randall went there in 1969, with the support of the National Geographic Society, to study the fish fauna. He was joined during revisits in 1988 and 1989 by the island's medical doctor, Alfredo Cea. They published the Rapanui names of fishes in 1984.The total number of Easter Island shore fishes to a depth of 200 meters is only 139 species. However, an astounding 21.7 percent are known only from the island, second only to the Hawaiian Islands in the percentage of endemic fishes. Forty-four new species of fishes have been described, of which 25 are in scientific papers by Randall or by Randall and coauthors.Shore Fishes of Easter Islandputs all of these fishes in one beautifully illustrated book with introductory chapters (Historical Review, Zoogeography, Marine Conservation, Materials and Methods).210 color illus.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6100-1
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. 1-2)

    Easter Island in the Pacific at 27°09’S, known also by the Polynesian name Rapa Nui and the Spanish name Isla de Pascua, is the most isolated inhabited island of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It lies at the southeastern corner of the islands of Oceania, a distant 2,800 kilometers west of Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile, and 2,100 kilometers east of the Pitcairn Islands. Its European name is derived from its discovery on Easter Sunday, 1722 by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen. Early scientific interest centered on the Polynesian inhabitants and their monumental stone statues known as...

    (pp. 3-10)

    The estimated earliest colonization of Easter Island by humans from radiocarbon dates was accepted as about A.D. 900. However, Hunt & Lipo (2006) believe it to be about AD 1200 from their more extensive study at the probable earliest settlement site of Anakena. Contrary to the hypothesis of Thor Heyerdahl that the first inhabitants came from South America, the present evidence clearly indicates that they were Polynesians, most likely from Mangareva, with possible way stations in the Pitcairn Islands. The reconstructed Polynesian double-hull canoe, theHōkūle ‘a, made a voyage in 1999 (beginning in Hawai‘i via the Marquesas) from Mangareva...

    (pp. 11-13)

    Easter Island lies on the Salas y Gómez Ridge near the western end of the Nazca Plate. The Plate is moving 3.7 cm east per year and subducts under South America to the west and the Galápagos Islands at the northwestern end. The island takes its origin from a hot spot over which the Plate is moving. Three volcanoes erupted from the sea at different times, but eventually merged to form one triangular island with a principal volcano at each corner. The large crater of Rano Kao at the southwest corner contains a freshwater lake with heavy growth of reeds....

    (pp. 14-16)

    The inshore fishes, littoral mollusks, and some algae of Easter Island must have been severely impacted by the ancient Rapanui when the island was fully populated, and probably more so when they were no longer able to build ocean-going canoes. Today, with modern fishing methods, such as the use of gill nets and spearfishing with scuba, there is much greater risk of overfishing at the island, not only of fishes but also the spiny lobster (Panulirus pascuensis). The authors remember how common this lobster was in the late 1960s.

    The Economist(October 2009) reported the population of Easter Island “is...

    (pp. 17-18)

    The photographs used to illustrate the book were taken by the first author, except for 14 for which a credit line is given. Nearly all of the fish photographs are from Easter Island. The area is given in vertical caption for those from other localities. We have used two paintings by the second author and two drawings from systematic papers to illustrate the species for which we lacked photographs.

    The systematic research on fishes for this book was based mainly on specimens at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu from collections made by the authors and associates during visits to Easter...

  9. Cartilaginous Fishes

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 19-20)

      Only about 500 species of sharks are known in the world, compared to over 28,000 bony fishes. In spite of their low number of species, sharks play a major role in the seas of the world. Many are the top predators in the various food chains in the sea and serve to keep Nature in balance.

      Sharks differ in many ways from bony fishes. Their skeleton is cartilage. Although the jaws of sharks may seem like bone, they are calcified cartilage. There are 5 to 7 gill openings on each side of the head of sharks, compared to a single...

      (pp. 21-22)

      This large family of 12 genera and 50 valid described species is the most important in abundance, impact on marine communities, commercial value, and for a few such as the Tiger Shark, as a threat to humans who venture into the sea. Most species are found in tropical or subtropical seas. They are characterized by five gill slits, no nasal barbels, a large mouth, the dorsal fin near the center of the body, a distinct pit at the origin of the upper lobe of the caudal fin; and teeth which are compressed, obliquely triangular, serrate, and in one functional row...

      (pp. 23-24)

      The sharks of this family are readily identified by their strongly depressed head and greatly expanded blade-like lateral extensions. This unusual head shape spreads the eyes and olfactory organs farther apart, thus improving binocular vision and providing better tracking of olfactory stimuli and electrolocation of prey; it also provides lift and serves as a forward rudder, making these sharks highly maneuverable. There are five gill slits, the fifth posterior to the origin of the pectoral fins; labial furrows are absent or rudimentary; there is no spiracle. The teeth are similar to those ofCarcharhinus, but the mouth is smaller. The...

      (pp. 25-25)

      Eagle rays have the head perceptibly distinct from the disc, with the eyes oriented more laterally than dorsally; the disc is at least 1.6 times broader than long, the outer corners acutely pointed; the tail is long and whip-like, with a small dorsal fin near the base; one to several barbed venomous spines are usually present on the basal part of the tail. The teeth are flat, plate-like, and transversely broad. The anterior nasal flaps are long and fused medially to form a nasal curtain that overlaps mouth. A large elongate spiracle lies behind each eye, and five pairs of...

  10. Bony Fishes

      (pp. 27-27)

      The Congridae is one of 15 families of true eels of the order Anguilliformes. The species of this family have near-cylindrical bodies anteriorly, well developed dorsal and anal fins, usually prominent pectoral fins, lips with a free margin on the side of the mouth, a complete lateral line, no scales, and a gill opening before or below the pectoral-fin base. The number of vertebrae (obtained from X-rays) is very important in the identification of congrids, as it is for eels, in general. Only one eel of this family is known from Easter Island, a wide spread species ofConger. A...

      (pp. 28-29)

      Snake eels are not well known to divers because most of their time is spent buried or nearly buried in sand or mud of the bottom, at least by day. They are very elongate, the body cylindrical or nearly so, and there are no scales. The anterior nostrils are usually tubular and project downward; the posterior nostrils open inside the mouth or through a valve in the upper lip. There are numerous branchiostegal rays that overlap ventrally. There are two subfamilies, the worm eels (Myrophinae), which have the median fins continuous around the tip of the tail, and the snake...

      (pp. 30-30)

      The body of the very elongate eels of this family is nearly cylindrical anteriorly, becoming laterally compressed near the tail tip. The gill opening is crescentic, located on the lower half of the body; the origin of the dorsal fin varies from slightly before to well behind mid body; the pectoral fins are small or vestigial; scales are absent. The species ofMoringuaare extraordinary in the different form of the immatures, males, and females. The eyes of immatures are very small and thickly covered by skin (they may function only to distinguish light from dark), the dorsal and anal...

      (pp. 31-35)

      Moray eels have a very elongate compressed body, a small gill opening near midside, no pelvic or pectoral fins, the caudal fin joined with the dorsal and anal fins, and no scales. The anterior nostrils are tubular at the front of the snout, and the posterior nostrils are before or above each eye. The branchiostegal rays consist of only 8–10 slender pairs that do not overlap ventrally. Most species, including the majority of those of the large genusGymnothorax, have long, fang-like teeth, some of which are inwardly depressible. Others such as those of the generaEchidnaandGymnomuraena...

      (pp. 36-36)

      The anchovies are classified in the order Clupeiformes, along with the herrings and sardines (family Clupeidae), sharing such characters as a single short dorsal fin near the middle of the body, no spines in the fins, cycloid scales (meaning smooth-edged), a strongly forked caudal fin, pectoral fins low on side of body, and pelvic fins abdominal in position, with 7 rays. The eyes are completely covered with transparent adipose tissue. All the Indo-Pacific anchovies except the species of the genusEngraulishave sharp midventral scutes. Anchovies differ most clearly from the clupeid fishes in the shape of the head; the...

      (pp. 37-38)

      Lizardfishes are well named for their reptilian-looking head. They have a very large mouth with a nonprotractile upper jaw bordered by the premaxilla that extends well posterior to the eye. There are numerous slender teeth in the jaws, on the palatines, and on the tongue. The body is elongate and nearly cylindrical (exceptHarpadon). The eye is small to moderate in size with transparent adipose tissue on the anterior and posterior margins. The scales are cycloid and small, generally more than 50 in the lateral line; the vertebral count of each species is the same or nearly the same as...

      (pp. 39-39)

      The fishes of this family have no spines in the fins. The pelvic fins (rarely absent) are inserted below or anterior to the preopercle and consist of only one or two rays. The dorsal and anal fins are long-based and joined to the caudal fin. Scales are present, but very small. The opercle usually has a well-developed spine. The species are oviparous, and most occur in deep water. The family is divisible into four subfamilies, two of which are represented by species at Easter Island, the Brotulinae, unique in having barbels on the chin and snout, and the Ophidiinae without...

      (pp. 40-41)

      Frogfishes are often called anglerfishes, but this is a general name best used for all 16 families of the order Lophiiformes, characterized by having the first dorsal spine modified into a lure consisting of the slender illicium, tipped with the esca (bait) that is used to attract prey near the mouth. Frogfishes have a laterally compressed body and a loose scaleless skin that may have spinules, wart-like protuberances, small flaps, slender branched tentacles, or cirri. The mouth is very large and strongly oblique or vertical. There are two dorsal spines on the head behind the illicium; the third spine is...

      (pp. 42-42)

      Needlefishes are very elongate with long pointed jaws and numerous needle-like teeth; there are no spines in the fins; the dorsal and anal fins are posterior on the body; the pelvic fins of 6 rays are abdominal in position; the lateral line passes along the lower side; the scales are small, cycloid, and deciduous; the nasal organ is in a cavity in front of the eye. These fishes are surface-dwelling and protectively colored green or blue on the back, and silvery below; some species have green bones. Needlefishes feed mainly on small fishes, especially schooling clupeoids. When frightened, as by...

      (pp. 43-43)

      The halfbeaks are related to the needlefishes and share many characters, such as an elongate body, no spines in fins, abdominal pelvic fins with 6 rays, lateral line low on the body, and nasal organ in a cavity before the eye. They differ mainly in having a short triangular upper jaw and a very prolonged lower jaw; the tip of the lower jaw red in most species. Like the needlefishes, the scales are cycloid and easily detached, but they are much larger in halfbeaks. These fishes live at or near the surface, and like the needlefishes, they may leap and...

      (pp. 44-46)

      The fishes of this family are usually red or partly red, have very large eyes, XI or XII (usually XI) dorsal spines, IV anal spines, and I,7 pelvic rays. The caudal fin is forked with 17 branched rays. The scales are coarsely ctenoid (the edges with numerous sharp spinules), and the lateral line is complete with 25–56 pored scales. The edges of the external bones of the head are serrate or have small spines. The mouth is moderately large, terminal or with the lower jaw projecting, and the upper jaw is protractile; the teeth are small, in villiform bands...

      (pp. 47-47)

      This small family is characterized by a deep and very compressed body, a small oblique mouth with protrusible upper jaw, and bands of very small teeth in the jaws (none on the palate). Other characters include a single dorsal fin with VII–IX spines and 26–39 soft rays; anal fin with III spines and 24–35 soft rays; caudal fin truncate to slightly rounded, with 10–12 branched rays; pelvic fins with I spine and 5 soft rays; scales small and ctenoid; and 21–23 vertebrae. The family is divisible into two subfamilies, the Caproinae, consisting of the single...

      (pp. 48-48)

      The pipefishes and seahorses are small fishes that occur mainly in shallow tropical to tem perate seas; a few species live in fresh water. Syngnathids have an elongate body enclosed in a series of bony rings which is generally quadrangular in cross-section. There usually are distinct ridges dorsally and ventrally (termed superior and inferior) on both the trunk and the tail, and a lateral ridge along the side. There is a single dorsal fin (absent in three genera), a very small anal fin of 2–6 rays (rarely absent), small pectoral fins (absent in a few species), no pelvic fins,...

      (pp. 49-50)

      Trumpetfishes are very elongate, the body narrower than deep, with a very small oblique mouth at the end of a long tubular snout; the teeth are minute; scales are small and ctenoid, and there is a small barbel on the chin. The dorsal fin has VIII to XII slender isolated dorsal spines, followed posteriorly on the body by a soft-rayed fin and the similar anal fin directly below; the caudal fin is rounded to rhomboid. These fishes normally swim slowly by undulating the soft dorsal and anal fins, but they are capable of swift darting movements to capture fishes and...

      (pp. 51-51)

      Like the related trumpetfishes, the cornetfishes are very elongate with a long tubular snout, small mouth, very small teeth, the dorsal and anal fins posterior in position, and 6 pelvic rays. They differ notably in lacking scales and spines in the fins, having a body that is broader than deep, and serrate ridges on the snout. The caudal fin is forked, except for the two middle rays that are prolonged to a filament. The vertebrae number 76–87, the first four fused. The lateral line arches anteriorly, then continues along the side of the body, end ing in the caudal...

      (pp. 52-55)

      The scorpionfish family is named for the venomous spines possessed by many species. These fishes have a reinforcing bone called the suborbital stay from the second suborbital bone (usually referred to as the lacrimal or preorbital) across the cheek to the preopercle. It is apparent externally as a horizontal ridge and usually has short posteriorly directed spines. Most species have numerous head spines, especially dorsally, including three to five on the edge of the preopercle, two on the opercle, and two or three on the lacrimal. Variation in the size and pattern of the spines is important in the classification...

      (pp. 55-55)

      The fishes of this family, also called gurnards, are grouped with the scorpionfishes in the order Scorpaeniformes. They are characterized by a large bony head not covered with scales or skin, and usually bearing a pair of anterior horn-like projections called rostral processes or preorbital spines and a strong retrorse humeral spine. There are two separate dorsal fins, the first with VII to XI spines; the second with 10–23 soft rays. The pectoral fins are large with two or three free lower rays that are thickened and used as tactile organs. Some species are well known for sound production....

      (pp. 56-56)

      A small family of only two genera that resemble groupers in having a large mouth with a projecting lower jaw, broad fully exposed maxilla, the same fin structure, and small ctenoid scales. They differ in having a strong near-horizontal ridge on the opercle ending in a spine, with a small spine above, but no third spine below. There are broad bands of villiform teeth on jaws, vomer, palatines, and tongue, but no canines. Dorsal fin with XI or XII spines and 11–13 soft rays. Restricted to temperate seas. Unusual in the very large size of the pelagic juvenile. Formerly...

      (pp. 57-60)

      The Serranidae, represented by nearly 500 species, is one of the largest families of the order Perciformes. It has been variously subdivided at the subfamily and tribal level. Such a large and diverse family is difficult to characterize, but these fishes share, in general, the following: pelvic rays I, 5 (soft rays reduced in a few species), the fins below or closely following the pectorals; caudal fin with 17 or fewer principal rays; mouth large, the maxilla not forming part of the gape, its posterior end fully exposed on the cheek; lower jaw usually projecting; jaws with bands of slender...

      (pp. 61-61)

      The fishes of this family have the following range of fin-ray counts: dorsal rays X, 11–17; anal rays III, 5–7; and pectoral rays 14, of which the lower 5–7 are unbranched and thickened. The membrane at tip of each dorsal spine has a single cirrus (in the genusParacirrhites) or a tuft of many cirri (other cirrhitid genera). Jaws with a row of canine teeth and a median band of villiform teeth; opercle with two flat spines; scales cycloid; swimbladder absent. All species are benthic on coral reefs or rocky substrata, using their thickened lower pectoral rays...

      (pp. 62-63)

      The fishes of this family have a long dorsal fin with XIV–XXIV spines and 19–40 soft rays, an anal fin with III spines and 7–35 soft rays, and a forked caudal fin. The lower 4 to 7 rays of the pectoral fins of many species are thickened, elongate, and often partially detached from membrane. The mouth is small, and the lips are usually fleshy in adults; there are bands of villiform teeth in the jaws, but none on the palate. The scales are very small and cycloid, the head scaled except front of snout and ventrally. Although...

      (pp. 63-63)

      The fishes of this family are moderately deep-bodied and compressed, with two opercular spines, a deeply notched dorsal fin of X spines and 9–13 soft rays, and a scaly sheath at the base of the dorsal and anal fins. They have large eyes, and are primarily nocturnal, at least as adults, feeding principally on planktonic crustaceans. They are usually silvery and often have dark markings on the caudal fin, the basis for the common name flagtails. The family consists of a single genus,Kuhlia. The species are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, with one...

      (pp. 64-65)

      The fishes of this small circumtropical family are distinctive in their extremely large eyes, very rough scales (modified cycloid scales), spinules on the fin rays, a strongly oblique mouth with protruding lower jaw, and relatively deep and compressed body. The eyes have a tapetum lucidum at the back that reflects the light, thus making vision more acute at low light levels. The opercle has two flat spines, and the preopercle is serrate with a broad spine variously developed at the corner. The teeth are in villiform bands in the jaws, and on the vomer and palatines. The dorsal fin is...

      (pp. 66-67)

      This large family of small fishes is distinct in having two separate dorsal fins, the first of VI to VIII spines. The second dorsal fin has I spine and 8–14 rays, and the anal fin II spines and 8–18 rays. There are 7 branchiostegal rays, and usually 24 vertebrae. The scales are usually finely ctenoid, but cycloid in some species, and absent in the genusGymnapogon. Gill-raker counts are often important in distinguishing related species (the counts below include rudiments). The eyes are large, and the mouth is large and oblique, the dentition variable (some with canines, but...

      (pp. 68-68)

      These fishes are unique in possessing an oval sucking disc dorsally on the head with which they attach to other fishes, cetaceans, or sea turtles. Other common names are sharksuckers and diskfishes. The sucking disc consists of a series of transverse laminae, the number of which is useful in classification. From a study of the developing larvae, the disc was shown to be derived from the spinous dorsal fin. Other characteristics of the family include no spines on the opercle, small cycloid scales (may be embedded), no swim bladder, 8–11 branchiostegal rays, villiform teeth in the jaws, and the...

      (pp. 69-75)

      This large family consists of strong-swimming, open-water carnivorous fishes that are usually silvery, often with iridescence. They are highly variable in shape, from slender species such as scads of the genusDecapterusto deep-bodied ones like the threadfin jacks (Alectisspp.). They have a deeply forked or lunate caudal fin and a slender caudal peduncle, rein forced in most species by a series of overlapping bony plates called scutes (from modified scales). The eye is usually protected and streamlined by transparent adipose tissue often referred to as an adipose eyelid. There are no spines on the opercle, and the edge...

      (pp. 75-76)

      The character that unites the fishes of this family is the structure of the upper jaw. It is highly protrusible, the premaxilla with a long median ascending process and a prominent midlateral process; the maxilla is scaled, broad posteriorly, and not partially covered by the preorbital when the mouth is closed. The jaws are without teeth or have only a few minute conical teeth anteriorly, and there are no teeth on the vomer or palatines. The head and body are covered with finely ctenoid scales; the opercle has two flat spines (in some species a small third upper spine), and...

      (pp. 77-78)

      This family is characterized by having a moderately large mouth with terminal jaws or the lower jaw projecting; teeth vary from small and conical to large and caniniform (none in cisiform or truly molariform); the vomer and palatines usually have small teeth; the upper edge of the maxilla slips under the preorbital when the mouth is closed; there are no spines on the opercle; the scales on the body are ctenoid; the dorsal fin is continuous or notched with X–XII,9–17 rays; anal rays III,7–11; the caudal fin is emarginate, forked, or lunate; pelvic rays I,5, their base...

      (pp. 78-81)

      Goatfishes are easily recognized by the pair of long barbels on the chin. Other family characters include a moderately elongate body with a long, somewhat pointed snout, a relatively small and slightly ventral mouth, the maxilla partly hidden under the preorbital when the mouth is closed, a single sharp spine on the opercle, and a smooth preopercle. The scales are finely ctenoid and moderately large, 27–38 in the lateral line. There are two widely spaced dorsal fins, the first with VI–VIII spines (first spine may be very small), the second with 8 or 9 soft rays, the anal...

      (pp. 81-82)

      Opinions vary on the limits of this family. Some authors include the Girellidae and the Scorpididae as subfamilies of the Kyphosidae. These are regarded here as families. The rudderfishes, also called sea chubs, consist of four genera:Kyphosuswith about ten species, andHermosilla,Neoscorpis, andSectator, each with one species. These fishes are moderately deep bodied and compressed, with a small head, short snout, and a small terminal or slightly inferior mouth; the maxilla slips partially under the preorbital bone when the mouth is closed; the teeth are incisiform, in one row, as inKyphosus, or small and conical...

      (pp. 83-83)

      This small family is often treated as a subfamily of the Kyphosidae, but Johnson in Moser et al. (1984), Johnson & Fritzsche (1989), Yagishita & Nakabo (2000), and Carpenter in Carpenter & Niem (2001a) are followed in regarding it as a family. It shares the general morphology of the kyphosids, differing in having the maxilla largely concealed beneath the suborbital when the mouth is closed, the teeth in the jaws mainly as tricuspid incisors, no teeth on the vomer or tongue, six instead of seven branchiostegal rays, XIII–XVII instead of XI dorsal spines, and scales only basally on the...

      (pp. 84-84)

      Like the related families Kyphosidae and Girellidae, the scorpidid fishes have compressed bodies, a small head with a small oblique mouth, numerous small scales that continue basally onto the median fins, and a long low dorsal fin with VIII or more spines. They differ mainly in lacking incisiform teeth, having either a single row of small conical teeth, a narrow band of teeth with the outer row larger, or no teeth. Also the pelvic fins are well behind the pectorals. The family is represented by four genera. The species are mainly temperate, most in the Southern Hemisphere. Only one is...

      (pp. 85-90)

      The colorful fishes of this family are among the most popular with aquarists, fish watchers, and photographers who snorkel and dive on coral reefs. Like the related angelfish family Pomacanthidae, they share such features as a deep, ovate, compressed body; a small mouth with small brush-like teeth (Chaetodonmeans bristle tooth); no teeth on the palate; ctenoid scales that extend onto the head and well out on median fins; no spine on the opercle; and a single unnotched dorsal fin. They lack the spine at the corner of the preopercle that is always present with the angelfishes, and they have...

      (pp. 91-92)

      The angelfishes were once classified as a subfamily of the Chaetodontidae. They share such features as a deep compressed body, small mouth with setiform (brush-like) teeth, no spine on the opercle, ctenoid scales that extend onto the head and well out on the median fins, and a single unnotched dorsal fin. They differ in having a prominent spine at the corner of the preopercle, the upper margin always serrate, the lower varying from smooth to serrate or with small spines; axillary scales on adults; the scales more strongly ctenoid; and no scaly axillary process at the base of the pelvic...

      (pp. 93-93)

      The fishes of this family, called boarfishes in Australia, are easily distinguished by having the head encased in rugose bones, but without spines. The body is moderately to very deep and compressed. The mouth is small, the teeth small, in bands in the jaws, and sometimes on the vomer. There is a single dorsal fin with IV–XV strong spines and 8–29 soft rays; the anal fin has II–VI strong spines and 6–17 soft rays. There are 24–27 vertebrae. Hardy (1983) revised the family, recognizing eight genera and 13 species. Only one shore species is known...

      (pp. 94-97)

      This well known family is characterized by a moderately deep and compressed body, a small mouth with conical or incisiform teeth, no teeth on the vomer or palatines, scales moderately large and ctenoid, extending onto head and basally on median fins, lateral line interrupted, the anterior end consisting of tubed scales, often followed by a few pored scales, the peduncular part only of pored scales (scale counts below are just the tubed scales of the anterior series). There is a single dorsal fin of VII–XVIII spines and 9–21 soft rays, an anal fin with II spines and 9...

      (pp. 98-107)

      The Labridae is the second largest marine family of fishes (after the Gobiidae), with 68 genera and 453 species (Parenti & Randall, 2000). It is very diverse, with species ranging in adult size from as small as 5 cm to the Giant Humphead Wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) that reaches about 1.7 m. Wrasses also vary greatly in shape, from moderately deep-bodied to slender, from short-snouted to long, etc. The family can be defined collectively by the following characters: mouth usually terminal, protractile, and small to moderate in size, the maxilla not exposed on the cheek; lips often fleshy (hence the German...

      (pp. 108-109)

      The parrotfishes are well named for their bright colors and the fusion of their teeth to beaklike plates. Ten genera and 90 species were recognized by Parenti & Randall (2000). The family is clearly derived from the wrasses, and some authors have preferred to classify the parrotfishes as a subfamily of the Labridae. Bellwood (1994) is followed here in maintaining the group as a separate family. In addition to the fusion of the teeth in the jaws to dental plates (though incompletely fused in the parrotfish genusCalotomus), there is the unique pharyngeal dentition, consisting of two interlocking upper pharyngeal...

      (pp. 109-110)

      This Indo-Pacific family consists of seven genera and 16 species. Osteological and other characters were given by Nelson (1985), and a key to the species was provided by Nelson & Randall (1985). All of the species are very small, elongate, with the upper jaw projecting slightly anterior to the lower; side of lower lip with a fringe of cirri and a dorsally projecting knob at the symphysis; eyes dorsolateral and protruding, the interorbital space very narrow; no flap dorsally on iris of eyes; a continuous dorsal fin with 12–43 unbranched soft rays; pectoral rays 9–17; pelvic rays I,...

      (pp. 110-111)

      The Blenniidae is a large family of 53 genera and about 345 species of small, slender, agile fishes that lack scales; most are blunt-headed with the mouth low on the head and not protractile; the teeth in the jaws are numerous and slender, either fixed or somewhat movable; they may be present on the vomer, but there are none on the palatines. Many blennies have cirri or small tentacles on the head, especially above the eye and on the anterior nostril, and some have a median fleshy crest on the head, often only in males. There is a single long...

      (pp. 112-112)

      The dragonets are small benthic fishes found in all tropical and subtropical seas, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, from shallow water to at least 400 m. Their most unifying character is a strong spine at the corner of the preopercle that usually bears barb-like spinules; there is no spine on the opercle or subopercle. The body is elongate and moderately depressed, and the head is broad and depressed; the eyes can be elevated. There are no scales; the lateral line is continuous. The mouth is small and very protrusible; villiform teeth are present in the jaws, but none on the...

      (pp. 113-116)

      The Gobiidae is the largest family of fishes in the marine environment, and many species also occur in fresh water. J.S. Nelson (pers. comm.) estimates that there are about 220 genera and 2010 species in the family. Many more remain to be described. With so many species, it is difficult to find diagnostic characters that apply to all. One would seem to be small size, because most gobies are less than 10 cm in length. The gobyTrimmatom nanusis among the smallest of fishes, with females maturing as little as 0.8 cm in standard length. However, some species have...

      (pp. 116-117)

      The tiny fishes of this family are neotenic, meaning they are sexually mature in a larval-like form. Neoteny is rare in fishes, and the species of the single genusSchindleriaare the most extreme example. The first specimens were collected in 1928 by Victor Pietschmann in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, who thought they were larval halfbeaks. He brought them to Otto Schindler in Vienna. On finding mature females and males among the specimens, Schindler regarded them as sexually mature larval hemiramphids. He describedHemiramphus praematurusin 1930, and a second species asH. pietschmannithe following year. Giltay (1934) realized...

      (pp. 117-117)

      Dorsal rays VII, 39–43; anal rays III, 32–36; pectoral rays 18 or19; body very deep, the depth 1.0–1.4 in standard length, and very compressed; third dorsal spine very elongate and filamentous, usually longer than standard length; snout narrow and prolonged; mouth small; teeth slender, slightly incurved, and in a single row in jaws; adults with a bony projection in front of each eye, larger in males; scales ctenoid and very small, the skin with a texture like fine sandpaper; yellow and white with two broad black bars, one on anterior body and head just enclosing eye, the...

      (pp. 118-120)

      The surgeonfishes are aptly named for the scalpel-like spine or spines on the side of the caudal peduncle. There are 80 species, of which 73 occur in the Indo-Pacific region (Randall, 2002). In addition to the peduncular spines, the family characters include a deep compressed body; the eye high on the head; a single unnotched dorsal fin of IV–IX spines and 19–33 soft rays; an anal fin with II or III spines (onlyNasowith II) and 18–31 soft rays; pelvic fins with I spine and 3 or 5 soft rays (Nasowith 3); very small ctenoid...

      (pp. 121-121)

      The barracudas were formerly believed to be allied with the threadfins (Polynemidae) and mullets (Mugilidae), partly because of having two widely separated dorsal fins. They are currently classified in the perciform suborder Scombroidei, along with the cutlassfishes, snake mackerels, tunas, and billfishes (Johnson, 1986). Barracudas are very distinctive in having an elongate and little-compressed body, strongly pointed head with projecting lower jaw, and a large mouth with compressed teeth of variable size in jaws and on palatines, some as long fangs. The first dorsal fin consists of V spines, set near the middle of the standard length; the second dorsal...

      (pp. 122-122)

      One of six families of marine fishes that share curious outgrowths from the pharynx con taining toothed papillae. Medusafishes have a short lower jaw that fits partly into upper when the mouth is closed; small teeth in a single row in the jaws, none on the vomer or palatines; eye near midlateral position on head; a long dorsal fin with 0 to IX dorsal spines and 19–39 soft rays; anal fin with III spines and 15–35 soft rays; small cycloid or weakly ctenoid scales that are usually easily shed. The pelvic fins are attached by membrane to the...

      (pp. 123-124)

      The Bothidae is the largest family of flatfishes of the order Pleuronectiformes. The eyes (with few exceptions) are on the left side (termed sinistral). There are no spines in the fins; the dorsal fin originates above or before the upper eye; the dorsal and anal fins are not joined to the caudal fin; the pectoral and pelvic rays are unbranched; the pelvic fins have six or fewer rays, the fin of the blind side short-based; the pelvic fin on the ocular side lies on the ventral edge of the body and has a long base, extending well anterior to the...

      (pp. 125-125)

      Soles are flatfishes with eyes on the right side of the head (hence dextral, like the right-hand flounders of the family Pleuronectidae). They are characterized by lacking a free margin to the preopercle; having widely separated nostrils, the anterior tubular; the mouth usually ventral and curved; teeth on the blind side in a villiform band, and absent or nearly so on the ocular side; lateral-line straight on the body; blind side of head with cirri or small cutaneous flaps; gill rakers absent or obsolete; eyes small; caudal fin rounded, often attached to dorsal or anal fins; pectoral fins sometime absent;...

      (pp. 126-127)

      The Balistidae is one of the nine families of the order Tetraodontiformes (for a review of osteology and phylogeny, see Tyler, 1980). Triggerfishes are named for the mechanism by which the stout first dorsal spine can be locked in an erect position by the small second spine. If the second spine (the trigger) is pushed down, the first can then be depressed. Triggerfishes have a moderately deep and compressed body, the eyes set high on the head, a long snout, and a small nonprotractile mouth with close-set, chisel-like teeth; there are eight in the outer row, and six on an...

      (pp. 128-131)

      The filefishes, named for their abrasive skin, are very closely related to the triggerfishes, and some authors have classified them as a subfamily of the Balistidae. They differ in having a longer and more slender first dorsal spine (which can be locked in an erect position as in the triggerfishes), a very small second dorsal spine (absent in a few species), and no third spine. The body is more compressed, and there are six (instead of eight) outer teeth in the jaws, reinforced by an inner row of four teeth. There are nonoverlapping scales as in the Balistidae, but instead...

      (pp. 132-133)

      The boxfishes (also called trunkfishes) and cowfishes are unique in possessing a bony carapace made of polygonal plates, with openings for the mouth, gills, anus, caudal peduncle, and fins. The carapace may be triangular, quadrangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, or nearly round in cross-section, and some species have sharp projecting spines. The species of the genusLactoriahave two such horn-like spines from the front of the head, hence their common name cowfishes. Other characteristics for the family include a small mouth which is low on the head and thick lips; teeth in a single row in the jaws, conical to incisiform...

      (pp. 134-135)

      The puffers, also known as blowfishes, are named for their ability, when threatened, to inflate themselves by drawing water (or air if taken out of water) into a highly distensible ventral diverticulum of the stomach. They are characterized further by their teeth fused to beak-like dental plates (with a median suture); a slit-like gill opening in front of the pectoral-fin base; tough skin without typical scales (small spinules are often present, especially ventrally); no spines in the fins; a single short-based dorsal fin posterior in position, and a comparable anal fin below or behind the dorsal; caudal fin with 10...

      (pp. 136-138)

      Like the related puffers, the diodontid fishes are able to inflate themselves by drawing water into the highly distensible ventral diverticulum of the stomach. They have the added protection of formidable sharp spines. These spines may be short with three or four roots, hence fixed, as found in the species ofChilomycterusandCyclichthys(called burrfishes), or long and two-rooted as in the porcupinefishes of the genusDiodon, hence angling out ward when the fish is inflated. Also like the puffers, the diodontids have the teeth fused to beak-like dental plates, a short vertical gill opening anterior to the pectoral-fin...

    (pp. 139-143)
    (pp. 144-152)
    (pp. 153-159)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 160-164)