Snake Mackeral, Gempylidae, are large (up to 2 m) Perciform Fish, similar in appearance to Baracuda, and with similar predatory habits. The Domine, Epinnula magistralis, is a slender, metre-long Snake Mackeral first described from the Caribbean in the mid nineteenth century. These Fish are found at depths of greater than 150 m, and are seldom caught, implying low population densities, with less than a dozen specimens from the Caribbean and Pacific currently known in museum and university collections.
In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 12 December 2018, Hsuan-Ching Ho of the National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium in Taiwan, and the Institute of Marine Biology at the National Dong Hwa University, Hiroyuki Motomura, also of the Institute of Marine Biology at the National Dong Hwa University, and of the Kagoshima University Museum, Harutaka Hata of the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences at Kagoshima University, and Wei-Chuan Jiang of the Eastern Fishery Center of the Taiwan Fishery Research Institute, describe a second species of Domine from the Pacific Ocean.
Ho et al. examined all known specimens of Epinnula and concluded that the Pacific and Caribbean specimens belong to two separate species. Since the species was first described from the Caribbean, these specimens retain the name Epinnula magistralis, while the Pacific specimens are described as a new species, Epinnula pacifica. This species is currently known from eight specimens, collected from Japan, Taiwan, Hawai'i and New Zealand between 1953 and 2015. Depth data is only available on the collection of two of these specimens (most were obtained from fish markets), at 283 and about 300 m.
Fresh specimen of Epinnula pacifica from Hawaii. Steve Wozniak in Ho et al. (2017).
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.