Revision of the jawfish genus
Lonchopisthus with description of a new Atlantic
species (Teleostei: Opistognathidae)
W.F. Smith-Vaniz & S.J.
Synonymies, diagnoses, descriptions,
illustrations, an identification key, and meristic
frequency tables are provided for all species of Lonchopisthus.
Most of the skeletal anatomy of L. higmani
is also illustrated. A new jawfish, Lonchopisthus
ancistrus n. sp., is described from the Gulf of
Mexico and off Honduras based on 21 specimens 41-89
mm SL. The new species differs from other congeners
by the following combination of characters: the posterior
end of the maxilla strongly hooked; the cheek and
opercle without scales; the membrane connecting the
maxilla and premaxilla and the inner membrane covering
the posterior part of the dentary pale; segmented
dorsal-fin rays 11-13, with unbranched rays 2-5;
longitudinal body-scale rows 33-39; and very
long pelvic fins, 39.4-75.3% SL. Lonchopisthus
lemur (and its synonym L. meadi) shares
most characters with L. ancistrus, but differs
in having shorter pelvic fins, 19.2-29.9% SL;
fewer longitudinal body-scale rows, 26-33; the
cheek and opercle scaled; and 5 infraorbitals (vs.
4). Both are relatively deep-water species, occurring
from 100 m to at least 375 m (vs. 3-139 m in
the other species). Lonchopisthus micrognathus
is unique in having no branched caudal-fin rays at
any size and the middle caudal-fin rays with free
tips that may be used to maintain tactile contact
with the substrate while hovering over its burrow.
The western Atlantic Lonchopisthus higmani
and eastern Pacific L. sinuscalifornicus are
sister species that differ from the other Atlantic
species in having the posterior end of the maxilla
with a notch instead of a strong hook, the opercle
with a large dark blotch, and one supraneural (vs.
Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Walsh,
S.J. (2017) Revision of the jawfish genus Lonchopisthus
of a new Atlantic species (Teleostei: Opistognathidae).
Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 28,
publication date: 11 October