New damsel named Chromis athena

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Ichthyologists Gerald Allen and Mark Erdmann have described a new species of damselfish from the waters off Raja Ampat Island, western New Guinea (Papua Barat Province, Indonesia).

The new species, whose description is published in the latest issue of Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, is named Chromis athena.

Chromis athena is distinguished from congeners in having a combination of the following characters: dorsal rays XIII,10 or 11; anal rays II,10 or 11; pectoral rays 17 or 18; spiniform caudal rays 3; tubed lateral-line scales 13 or 14; gill rakers 9 + 20 or 21 = 29 or 30; body depth 2.0-2.1 in standard length; colour overall dusky bluish grey, except dark grey on anterior half of head and bright yellow on nape and upper back above lateral-line; fins mainly translucent whitish except caudal fin lobes and basal portion of soft dorsal fin dark grey; colour in alcohol mainly mottled brown with translucent whitish fins.

The species is named after the sailing yacht Athena, which served as the authors base of operations during the cruise upon which the new species was first discovered.

For more information, see the paper: Allen, GR and MV Erdmann (2008) A new species of damselfish (Chromis: Pomacentridae) from the Raja Ampat Islands, Papua Barat Province, Indonesia. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 14, pp. 203"208.