Friday 5 May 2017

Adelotremus deloachi: A new species of Sabretoothed Blenny from Indonesia.

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. Sabretoothed Blennies, Nemophini, are a group of highly specialised Blennies with enlarged canine teeth and sometimes poinson sacks, used as a defence against predators. These Blennies often have bright colouration, as a warning to predators to keep away.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 27 April 2017, William Smith-Vaniz of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida describes a new species of Sabretoothed Blenny from Bali and the Lembeh Strait.

The new species is placed in the genus Adelotremus, which has previously only been recorded from the Red Sea, and given the specific name deloachi, in honour of writer, diver and photographer Ned DeLoach, for his works which have popularised the study and conservation of the inhabitants of tropical reefs. The species is described from one male specimen, 32 mm in length, and two females, 34.9 and 29.4 mm in length. These are whitish or tan in colour, with a dark band, on the midline of the body, and a distinctive large eysepot at the front of the dorsal fin; this is dark in the females but a bright blue in the male.

Adelotremus deloachi, male, 32.0 mm SL, Bali, Indonesia. Ned DeLoach in Smith-Vaniz (2017).

The species was found off the east coast of Bali and in the Lembeh Strait, which separates the small island of Lembeh from the northeastern tip of Sulawesi, though since these locations are so far apart it is assumed to be more widely distributed in Indonesia. All of the specimens were found on sandy slopes at depths of 10-17 m.

Adelotremus deloachi, female, 29.4 mm SL, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. Ned DeLoach in Smith-Vaniz (2017).

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