Redescription of the Indo-Pacific Scorpionfish Scorpaenopsis fowleri and Reallocation to the Genus Sebastapistes

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2002-01
Authors
Randall, John E.
Poss, Stuart G.
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University of Hawai'i Press
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Abstract
The wide-ranging Indo-Pacific scorpionfish Scorpaenodes fowleri (Pietschmann), long placed in the genus Scorpaenopsis (largely because it lacks palatine teeth), is reclassified in the genus Sebastapistes. It is distinct from the species of Scorpaenopsis in several features: eye not extending above the dorsal profile of the head, large pores of the cephalic lateralis system, nasal pore above and adjacent to posterior nostril with a very small retrorse nasal spine (may be absent) on its upper edge, low ridgelike spines dorsally on the head, preocular spine usually embedded, sphenotic and postorbital spines absent or embedded; posterior lacrimal spine projecting slightly anteriorly, and a single spine posteriorly on the suborbital ridge with a pore-associated spine just below the ridge under the posterior third of the eye. Also significant is its very small size, the smallest of the Scorpaenidae (largest specimen, 37 mm SL; smallest mature female, 18 mm SL). The loss of palatine teeth appears to have occurred independently from the species of Scorpaenopsis. Sebastapistes fowleri is closest to S. strongia, the type species of the genus. In addition to having palatine teeth, S. strongia differs in the strongly retrorse posterior lacrimal spine and in having two spines on the suborbital ridge. The limits of Sebastapistes need reevaluation.
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Randall JE, Poss SG. 2002. Redescription of the Indo-Pacific scorpionfish Scorpaenopsis fowleri and reallocation to the genus Sebastapistes. Pac Sci 56(1): 57-64.
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