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A New, Distinctively Colored Snake Eel (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from Northeastern New Zealand

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Title:A New, Distinctively Colored Snake Eel (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from Northeastern New Zealand
Authors:Castle, PHJ
Date Issued:Jan 1996
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Castle PHJ. 1996. A new, distinctively colored snake eel (Anguilliformes: Ophichthidae) from northeastern New Zealand. Pac Sci 50(1): 108-116.
Abstract:Quassiremus polyclitellum, n. sp., described from three specimens
line-fished at island outliers in 35-58 m represents the first record of Quassiremus
Jordan & Davis, 1891, for the Indo-West Pacific. It has regularly spaced,
mid-brown to orange, vertically rectangular saddles of pigment along body, tail
longer than preanal length, and 166-168 vertebrae. It thus differs from East
Pacific Q. nothochir (Gilbert), which has hourglass-shaped spots ringed with
brown and 138-142 vertebrae, Galapagos endemic Q. evionthas (Jordan & Bollman)
with small oblong spots and 149-153 vertebrae, and western Atlantic Q.
ascensionis (Studer) with large, round spots above, alternating with similar
spots below and 129-136 vertebrae; all three species have the tail shorter than
the preanal length. The strong New World associations of Quassiremus are
noted and the possible extralimital origins as larvae of the holotype and paratypes
are discussed.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 50, Number 1, 1996

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