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New Fishes from New South Wales.

(No. 1.)

By DAVID G. STEAD,

Naturalist to the Board of Fisheries for New South Wales.

[5 Plates.]

Under the above title I propose to describe from time to time, as far as opportunity offers, any hitherto undescribed species of New South Wales fishes which may come into my hands for treatment.

In the following paper, three species are described as new; these being, (i) the Barred Long-Tom, Tylosurus cceruleo-fasciatus Stead, (2) the Stout Whiting, Sillago robusta Stead, and (3) the Marbled Flathead, Platycephalus marmoratus Stead. It may be added that these are all edible fishes.

Family SCOMBRESOCIDjE (Garfishes and Long-Toms).

Tylosurus cseruleofasciatus Stead.—Barred Long-Tom. (New

Species.)

Plate I.

In the month of April, 1904, four specimens of a remarkable Long-Tom, of a species hitherto unknown, were received (through the observation of Dr. James C. Cox,M.D., F.R.C.S.E., Commissioner of Fisheries) from Mr. J. E. Chinnery, fishmonger of this city. From the latter gentleman's evidence, as well as from that of one of the Department's Inspectors, it transpired that they had been captured in the one haul with Garfish (H emir ham phus) at Port Stephens.

As I found upon examination that the four examples agreed very closely with one another in all the principal characteristics, and three of them had both jaws broken at the tips. I have drawn up the following description and measurements from the most perfect specimen; the particulars given in regard to the number of fin-rays, however, are taken from the whole four.

I might here add that, judging by published descriptions— particularly that of Jordan and Starks1—this species will be

found to be most nearly allied to the somewhat tropical Tylosurus schismatorhynchus (Bleeker).

D. 23-24; A. 26-27; V. 6; P. 14; C. 15.

\

Length of head 3.40, greatest height of body 16.70, length of caudal fin 12.05 in the total length (without caudal). Eye situated near the top of the head, about seven-eighths of its diameter from the lower edge of the cheek; its vertical diameter 1.35 in the width of the interorbital space, 2.65 in the length of the postorbital portion, and 14.20 in the length of the head. Interorbital space almost flat, striated on each side, with a shallow groove extending a short distance onto the snout. Nostril, a deep, somewhat triangular fossa, with its apex pointing downwards, containing a simple undivided papilla. Jaws very long and attenuated; the lower a little longer than the upper; when they are closed, a small arched opening is seen above the tongue. Upper jaw, from the anterior margin of the eye, a little more than two-and-a-half times longer than the rest of the head. Premaxillary toward base constricted slightly and strengthened above by a mass of bone along the posterior two-ninths of its length, this mass tapering to a point as viewed from above. Maxilla slightly expanded behind, ending in a point; its hinder portion completely concealed by the preorbital when the jaws are closed, and reaching to beneath the anterior edge of the eye. Upper surface of head from above centre of eyes to occiput, smooth, with a translucent cartilage-like tissue. Postorbital portion equal to 2.65 the vertical diameter of the eye.

Body elongate and strongly compressed; its greatest thickness 1.75 in the height. Dorsal and ventral outlines very nearly parallel from occiput to dorsal fin, being slightly deeper at and near the base of the ventral fins. Upper parts of sides nearly vertical and parallel, back evenly convex; lower parts sloping inwards to form a rounded keel.

Teeth fine, acute, and gradually diminishing in size as they approach the point of the jaw, where they become mere asperities,

Fins—Dorsal begins above about the eighth anal ray; fin elevated anteriorly and posteriorly, the longest rays of both portions being about equal, and almost equal to the greatest height of the head. Length of base of fin 1.75 in the length of the head, and about three times the length of the pectoral fin. Distance from base of last dorsal ray to base of caudal fin about equal to the greatest thickness and 1.40 in the postorbital portion of the head. Anal with the anterior rays greatly elevated, and about twice the length of those of the posterior portion. Longest ray equal to twice the width of the interorbital space, equal to the length of the postorbital portion of the head, and a little less than the greatest height of the body. Length of base of fin about one eye diameter longer than that of the dorsal, and 1.60 in the length of the head. Distance from base of last anal ray to base of caudal fin equal to greatest height of head, and 1.15 in the postorbital portion. Pectoral almost wholly above the median line of the body, and beginning about half the diameter of the eye behind the upper angle of the opercle; its length 5.10 in the length of the head. Ventral shorter than pectoral; situated just in advance of the centre of the distance from the bottom of the cleft of rhe mouth to the base of the caudal fin; its length 1.20 in the postorbital portion, and 6.40 in the length of the head. Caudal forked, lower lobe the longer; shortest rays about half the length of the longest.

Anus situated about the length of the ventral fin from the beginning of the anal fin.

Scales minute, thin, and adherent. A very indistinct patch of scales above cheeks, and another—of very minute ones— on top of head, extending from eyes to base of maxillary.

Lateral line well-developed; more prominent on the posterior portion of the body.

Color.—Dorsal surface deep sea-green, with a median line of very dark green; the latter not very striking in the fresh specimen. Sides brilliantly silvery, with from fifteen to seventeen vertical bars of a bluish color, interspersed at fairly regular intervals—with the exception of the first two,

which are close together—along the entire length, from just behind the base of the pectoral to the caudal peduncle. These bars give to the fish a very beautiful appearance.

I have given to this fish the vernacular name of Barred Long-Tom.”

Type specimen in the collection of the Department of Fisheries, New South Wales.

/. .

(Specific name derived from cceruleus, blue; fasciatus, banded.)

Measurements of


Tylosurus cceruleofasciatus Stead.

470 434 29 5 2T 2 8 20‘8

5- 6 8*3 7‘2

6- 0 51 5*6 1*6 3*7 3 3*3 1-4 3:0 4-9

4- 4 4’2 5 6

5- 8 4-6

16-8 187 21-9 30 4 59 9 72-6 77-2 797 3-9 4*8


Length overall (in millimeters)    ..    ...    ...

Length to base of caudal fin (in millimeters) ...    .........

Length of head in hundredths of length to base of caudal fin Diameter of eye (vertical)...    ...    ...    ...

Width of interorbital space    ...    ...    ...

Length of snout (probably 2-3 mm. broken off tip) ........

Length of postorbital portion of head..... ...

Length of caudal fin .........

Length of upper lobe of caudal fin ...    ...    ..

Greatest height of body (at base of ventral fin) ..... ...

Height of body at base of pectoral fin............

Height of body at beginning of base of anal fin .........

Least height of caudal peduncle...............

Greatest thickness (above base of ventral fin )...    ...    ...

Thickness at base of pectoral fin...    ...    ...

Thickness above beginning of anal fin    ...    ...    ...

Thickness at least height of caudal peduncle ...    ...    ...

Width of head at posterior border of eye    ...    ...

Greatest height of head ...    ...    ...    ...

Longest ray of dorsal fin : anterior portion ...    ........

Longest ray of dorsal fin : posterior portion ............

Longest ray of anal fin ...    ...... ...... ...

Length of pectoral fin ...    ...    ...    ...    ...

Length of ventral fin ......... ......

Length of base of dorsal fin ...... ...    ......

Length of base of anal fin..................

Distance from point of mandible to anterior edge of eye ...

Distance from point of mandible to base of pectoral^fin .....

Distance from point of mandible to base of ventral fin ......

Distance from point of mandible to anus ...    ...    ...    ...

Distance from point of mandible to beginning of base of anal fin ...,: Distance from point of mandible to beginning of base of dorsal fin... Distance from base of last dorsal ray to base of caudal fin ..    ...j

Distance from base of last anal ray to base of caudal fin ...    ...I


SlLLAGO ROBUSTA Stead.—Stout Whiting

Family S ILL A QINID JE (Whitings). •

Sillago robusta Stead.—Stout Whiting (New Species).

Plate II.

During March, 1904, a small Sillago, measuring 146 millimeters (5f inches), was received. It had been captured by Mr. Dannevig while carrying out investigations in Rose Bay, Port Jackson, and proved to be of a species hitherto undescribed. Glancing casually, the most noticeable characteristics of this fish when fresh were (1) the generally stouter form as compared with our other Sillaginoids, (2) the absence of spots or blotches of any kind (these being present even in the young Sillago ciliata, up to the size of this specimen), and the pretty pencilled appearance of the free edge of the body-scales. Of the four known species of Sillago from the waters of New South Wales, this species is most nearly allied to Sillago bassensis Cuvier and Valenciennes, from which it may be at once distinguished, however, when fresh, by (1) the very much stouter build, (2) the absence of rusty-red diagonal blotches along the body, (3) the shorter caudal fin, and (4) the position of the ventral fins; which in this species are inserted immediately beneath the first dorsal spine, while in Sillago bassensis they are considerably in advance of it.

The following description and measurements are taken from .the Rose Bay specimen:—

D. XI. I. 17; A. II. 18; V. I. 5; P. 17; C. 17. L. lat., 65;

L. trans., 4/11.

Length of head 3.50, greatest height of body 4.75, greatest thickness 6.15, length of caudal fin 5.35 in the total length (without caudal). Eye of moderate size, its longitudinal diameter about equal to width of interorbital space, 4.65 in the length of the head, and 1.85 in that of the snout. Interorbital space flat. Nostrils approximate; the anterior one protected by a raised flap. Snout long, equal to postorbital portion, and 2.50 in the length of the head; upper profile convex. Mouth small, upper jaw the longer, maxilla extending to about half the length of the snout. Preopercle finely toothed (particularly at the angle), opercle with a blunt flattened spine.

Teeth in both jaws; villiform, with a slightly enlarged outer row, most prominent in the upper jaw. Vomerine teeth in a broad angular band.

Fins.—Spinous dorsal begins immediately above the base of the ventral; spines weak, the longest 2.20 in the length of the head. Soft dorsal long and low, its longest ray 2.55 in the length of the head, and almost equal to the length of the snout; length of base of fin 2.85 in the total length (without caudal). Distance from base of last dorsal ray to vertical ^ from base of caudal fin equal to longest ray in second dorsal and a little greater than least height of caudal peduncle. Anal begins beneath about last spine in first dorsal, and well in advance of second dorsal; similar in form to second dorsal, its longest ray equal to that of the second dorsal. Distance from base of last anal ray to vertical from base of caudal fin

*

equal to length of snout. Pectoral a little in advance of the spinous dorsal, its length 1.60 in that of the head. Ventral {without filamentous extension, which is very thin and comparatively short) shorter than pectoral, 1.95 in the length of the head. Caudal emarginate.

Anus situated midway between point of snout and base of

caudal fin. Distance from base of ventral fin to anus equal

to length of caudal fin, and 1.50 in the length of the head.

# .

Scales adherent, ciliated, free edge decidedly angular.

Lateral line very distinct, curving upwards suddenly till it reaches the vertical from about the third dorsal spine, and .    then descending gently till it reaches the vertical from the

last dorsal ray; from where it runs along the centre of the caudal peduncle out into the caudal fin.

Color when fresh, a creamy-yellow above; lighter below. Each body scale lightly pencilled on its free margin. No black spot at base of pectoral fin. Membrane of dorsal and anal fins finely dotted; base of first dorsal spine black. A silvery lateral longitudinal band; not very prominent.

Type specimen in the collection of the Department o! Fisheries, New South Wales.

(Specific name from robustus, stout, muscular.)

Measurements of Sillago robusta Stead.

146

m

28-5 6 6 11-4 11-4 5*7 187 21 20 3 9-8 163 4*9 13 0 10 -fi 10 17-9 146 2135 *0 35 -8


56 • l 53-7 30-1 32 *5 50-4 18*7

100

114


Length overall (in millimeters) ..................

Length to base of caudal fin (in millimeters) ............

Length of head in hundredths of length to base of caudal fin ... Diameter of eye (longitudinal) ...    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...

Width of interorbital space ............ ..    ...

Length of snout ...    ...     ...    ...

Length of postorbital portion of head    ...    ..    ...    ...    ...

Lower edge of eye to lower edge of cheek ......... ...

Length of caudal fin    ...     ...    ...

Greatest height of body (at beginning of base of spinous dorsal fin) Height at beginning of base of anal    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...

Least height of caudal peduncle ...    ..    ...    ...    ...    ...

Greatest thickness ...    ...    ...    ...

• ••    •••    ••    • * «

Thickness at least height of caudal peduncle............

Longest spine in first dorsal fin ...    ......... ...    ...

Longest ray in second dorsal fin ...    ...    ...... ...    ...

Longest ray in anal fin ...    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...    ..

Length of pectoral fin    ...     ...    ..

Length of ventral fin (excluding filament)    ...    ..    ...    ...

Length of base of first dorsal fin (spine to spine)    . .    ...    ...

Length of base of second dorsal fin    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...

Length of base of anal fin.....................

Distance from point of snout to vertical from beginning of spinous dorsal fin .......................

Distance from point of snout to vertical from beginning of second

dorsal fin ...    ...    .........

••• ••• •••

Distance from point of snout to vertical from beginning of anal fin... Distance from point of snout to vertical from insertion of pectoral fin Distance from point of snout to vertical from insertion of ventral fin Distance from point of snout to vertical from anus    ...    ...    ...

Distance between base of ventral and anus ...    ...    ...    ...

Distance from base of last dorsal ray to vertical from base of caudal fin ...    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...    ...

Distance from base of last anal ray to vertical from base of caudal fin

Family PLATYGEPHALID.E (Flatheads).

Platycephalus marmoratus Stead.—Marhie.d Flathead (New

Species.)

Plates III, IV, and V.

During June, 1904, a very strikingly-colored Flathead, measuring 367 millimeters (14J inches), was brought in by Mr. D. W. Benson, Inspector of Fisheries. It had been captured at Port Stephens. Upon examination this proved to be of a species hitherto undescribed. Again, during July,

IO

of the year, 1906, a fine example measuring 490 millimeters (19J inches), was received from Mr. N. Aceglav, of this city, this being one of three specimens (one of which was considerably larger) sent in to the Eastern Fish Market, and having been captured on the Snapper ground off Coffs Harbour. Late in August, through the kindness of the same gentleman, a third example was received, this having been captured in the estuary of the Clarence River. From these records, it appears highly probable that at no distant date, this large and valuable Flathead may be found to occur in some numbers in moderately-deep water in the vicinity of portions of our coastline. Judging by its colors, it is a rock-dweller.2

The following description and measurements are drawn up from the Port Stephens and Coffs Harbour specimens:—

B. VII; D. I. VII. 13; A. 13; V. I. 5; P. 21. Scales

about no.

Length of head 345-3.50, height of body (at first ray of second dorsal fin) 10.60-10.75, greatest thickness 4.40-4.80, length of caudal fin 5.65-6.30 in the total length (without caudal. Greatest width of head (at base of preopercular spines) 1.20-1.25 in its length. Eye rather small, its longitudinal diameter exactly equal to the least height of caudal peduncle, 6.65-6.90 in the length of the head, and 2.00-2.25 in that of the snout. Interorbital space highly concave; depth of depression thus formed, about a quarter of the diameter of the eye. Nostrils small; separated by a small interspace, the anterior rounded, piercing the base of a leaflike cirrus, the length of which is about half the diameter of the eye; posterior oval, without cirrus. Snout very broad and depressed, obtusely-rounded in front, its length about equal to the height of the body at the beginning of the second dorsal fin, or 3.15-3.35 in the length of the head. Mouth large, lower jaw the longer; maxilla extending to about the anterior border of the eye. Anterior spines of preorbital very blunt, lower scarcely apparent, covered with skin. Spine at upper anterior angle of orbit likewise. Upper

surface of head smooth, with three broad shallow grooves bordered by obtuse ridges; a low short ridge in the centre. A low, broad ridge along the centre of the snout, bifurcating anteriorly opposite the nasal interspaces, and posteriorly opposite the anterior margins of the eyes. Preopercular spines divergent, short, the lower longer than the upper, about equal to half the longitudinal diameter of the eye. Postorbital portion a little longer than the entire length of head.

Teeth.—Maxillary teeth villiform, band very broad at the symphysis where there are a few teeth a little longer. Mandible with a narrow band of villiform teeth in front and an inner row of short sharp canines continued back a little further than the maxillary bands; similar teeth to the latter, but a little stronger, on the vomer and palatines.

Fins. Spinous dorsal preceded by a single spine, which, in the smaller example is exceedingly short and rounded off; the fin commences a little posterior to the vertical from the beginning of the base of the ventral fin; spines fairly strong, the longest 1.90-2.20 in the length of the head. Soft dorsal long, lower than the spinous dorsal; composed of widely-separated rays—longest ray 2.50-2.60 in the length of the head; fin commences above beginning of anal. Anal long, with strong, widely-separated rays, the longest of which is 3.00-3.1:5 in the length of the head; second last anal ray about beneath last ray of dorsal. Distance from base of last anal ray to vertical from base of caudal 3*65-3.90 in the length of the head. Pectoral begins beneath the tip of the longer preopercular spine, fin broad and rounded, its length 1.60-1.65 in that of the head, and 5.65 in the total (without caudal). Ventral large, the fourth ray the longest; length of fin 1.30 in that of the head, or 445-4.50 in the total. Caudal slightly rounded or almost truncate.

Anus situated a little posterior to the centre of the distance between the point of the mandible and the base of the caudal fin, and about two-thirds of the longitudinal diameter of the eye in advance of the first anal ray.

Scales adherent, small, ctenoid.

Lateral line distinct, slightly raised.

Color.—The whole of the upper part and sides richly marbled with red and white (giving a fairly-close resemblance to polished red Moruya granite); six broad, indistinct, dark-red bands across the body, the first across the nape and the last across the end of the caudal peduncle; lower surface white. Pectoral, ventral, and caudal fins with a prominent milk-white margin. Ventrals—with exception of edge—of a beautiful shining bronze-green.

On account of its coloration I here propose for this fish the vernacular title of “ Marbled Flathead.”

Type (smaller specimen) in the collection of the Department oi Fisheries, New South Wales.

(Specific name derived from marmoratus, marbled.)

Measurements of Platycephalus marmoratus Stead.

367

490

312

42 3

28-8

28-4

4*2

4*3

5-4

5-7

9*3

8-5

15-1.

151

17*6

15-8

9-3

9.5

4*2

4*3

20-8

22*7

22-8

24 1

15*1

12*8

11*5

10-9

9-6

9 0

17-6

17-7

22-4

2 2 *2

35*3

33*6

38-5

37-1

23-1

23-9

33-0

33 6

54*2

55*1

51 '3

52*5

21*2

2L5

7*4

7‘8

est ray


Length overall (in millimeters) ............

Length to base of caudal fin (in millimeters) ...    ...    ..

Length of head in hundredths of length to base of caudal fin.. Diameter of eye (longitudinal)    ...    ...    ...    ..

Width of interorbital space    ...    ...    ...    ..

Length of snout ...    ...    ...    ...    • .    ••

Length of postorbital portion of    head    ...    ...    ..

Length of caudal fin    ...    ...    ...    ...    ••

Height of body at base of first ray of second dorsal fin Least height of caudal peduncle    ...    ...    ..    ..

Greatest thickness (at base of ventral    fin)    ...    ••

Width of head at base of preopercular spines.....

Longest spine in first dorsal fin    ...    ...    ...    ••

Longest ray in second dorsal fin    ...    ...    ...    ..

Longest ray in anal fin ...    ...    ...    ...

Length of pectoral fin* ...    ..    . .    •••    ••

Length of ventral fin* ...    ...    ...    ...    ••

Length of base of second dorsal tin ...    ...    ..

Length of base of anal tin ...    ...    ...    ...

Distance from point of mandible to nearest point of base of pectoral fin ...    ...    ...    ...    •••    ■

Distance from point of mandible to nearest point of base of ventral fin ...    ...    ...    ...    •••    •••

Distance from point of mandible to beginning of anal fin .. Distance from point of mandible to anus    ...    ...    •••

Distance from beginning of base of ventral fin to base of anal fin Distance from base of last anal ray to base of caudal fin.....

*Pectoral and ventral measured from beginning- of base to end of longest ray.


Sydney : William Applegate Gullick, Government Printer.-1908.

1

Jordan and Starks: Proc. U.S, Nat. Mus., XXVI, 1903, p. 528.

2

Since writing this, I have seen still further examples of this Flathead, of a large size, from our northern waters,