Wednesday 12 June 2013

A new species of Blenny from Curaçao.

Blennies, Blennioidea are small elongate Fish in the Perch Order, Perciformes. They typically have fused dorsal fins, rounded tails and embedded spines in their dorsal fins. They are typically benthic in habit, burrowing into soft sediments or inhabiting crevices in reefs. Several members of the Goby and Dragonet families have the common name 'Blenny'.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 4 June 2013, Carole Baldwin of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology at the National Museum of Natural History and Ross Robertson of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute describe a new species of Blenny from Curaçao in the southern Caribbean.

The new species is placed in the genus Haptoclinus, which has hitherto only contained a single species,  Haptoclinus apectolophus, which was described based on two specimens that were trawled from depths of 174−366 m at Arrowsmith Bank in the northwestern Caribbean in 1974. 

The new species is named Haptoclinus dropi, with a specific name derived from the acronym for the Smithsonian Institution’s Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). The species is described based upon a single female specimen recovered by Substation Curaçao’s manned submersible Curasub at a depth of  157−167 m, off Substation Curaçao dock.

The single specimen of Haptoclinus dropi is a 21.5 mm scaleless fish, yellowish in colour with orange markings. It's dorsal fin is divided into four distinct segments. 

Haptoclinus dropi, female specimen, photographed against black and white backgrounds shortly after being caught. Baldwin & Robertson (2013).

The approximate location where the sole specimen of Haptoclinus dropi was caught. Google Maps.

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.