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A lucky catch: A tiny new fish, Haptoclinus dropi, from the southern Caribbean

Date:
June 5, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A lucky catch, a new species of tiny blenniiform fish has been discovered as a part of the Smithsonian Institution's Deep Reef Observation Project. The new, beautifully colored Haptoclinus dropi is only about 2 cm long. It was collected from poorly studied deep reefs that lie beyond the reach of scuba divers. It represents the second species in the genus and an exciting catch for Caribbean marine diversity.

This image shows the beautiful color pattern of the new species Haptoclinus dropi. The iridescence on the fins shows up, luminescing against the black background.
Credit: D. Ross Robertson and Carole C. Baldwin, CC-BY 3.0

A new species of tiny blenniiform fish has been discovered in the biodiversity rich waters of the southern Caribbean.Haptoclinus dropiis only around 2cm in length with a beautiful color pattern that includes iridescence on the fins. The proposed common name of the species is four-fin blenny, due to the division of the dorsal fin into four sections, which is a distinguishing feature of the genus and unique among blenniiform fishes. The study was published in the open access journalZookeys.

This beautiful new species was discovered as a lucky bycatch during targeted specimen catching at 157-167 m depth off Curaçao as a part of the Smithsonian Institution'sDeep Reef Observation Project (DROP). The new species,Haptoclinus dropi, gets its name from the project's abbreviation and is one of numerous new ray-finned fish species emerging from this project.

For DROP expeditions theSubstation Curaçao's manned submersible Curasub was used to catch specimens. While generally used as tourist attraction because it travels at much greater depths than divers can reach, the Curasub is also used for scientific marine research. Targeted fish specimens are collected with the sub's two flexible, hydraulic arms, but very often small non-targeted fish are also caught in the process.

"Below the depths accessible using scuba gear and above the depths typically targeted by deep-diving submersibles, tropical deep reefs are productive ocean ecosystems that science has largely missed. They are home to diverse assemblages of new and rare species that we are only just beginning to understand," explains the lead author of the study Dr Carole Baldwin,Smithsonian Institution.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Carole Baldwin, Ross Robertson. A new Haptoclinus blenny (Teleostei, Labrisomidae) from deep reefs off Curaçao, southern Caribbean, with comments on relationships of the genus. ZooKeys, 2013; 306: 71 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.306.5198

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "A lucky catch: A tiny new fish, Haptoclinus dropi, from the southern Caribbean." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130116.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, June 5). A lucky catch: A tiny new fish, Haptoclinus dropi, from the southern Caribbean. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130116.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "A lucky catch: A tiny new fish, Haptoclinus dropi, from the southern Caribbean." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130605130116.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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