New deepwater blenny from Fiji islands


A new species of strikingly coloured blenny has been discovered in Fiji.

The new fish, which has been named Petroscirtes pylei by William Smith-Vaniz in a paper in the journal Zootaxa, was discovered off a deepwater reef near Suva in Viti Levu, part of the Fiji Islands chain.

The black and white striped fangblenny, which Smith-Vaniz has dubbed the Twilight fangblenny, was caught on a rocky outcrop below a steep drop off by a team of experts including Richard Pyle, who the species has been named after.

One of the three specimens in the type series was collected in water 110m/360 feet, which is the second deepest depth record for a member of the Petroscirtes genus.

Most of the other members of the genus are coral reef associated and live in much shallower waters.

Smith-Vaniz says that another deep-water species in this genus has also been seen on another Fijian reef, but so far scientists have not been able to capture it in order to describe the species.

Petroscirtes pylei has been placed in the Dasson subgenus.

For more details see the paper: Smith-Vaniz, WF (2005) - Petroscirtes pylei, a new saber-toothed blenny from the Fiji Islands (Teleostei: Blenniidae). Zootaxa 1046: 29-36.