New wrasse described from Indo Pacific

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Ichthyologists from Hawaii have described a new species of wrasse from the western Pacific.

John Randall and Luiz Rocha published their description of Halichoeres claudia in the most recent issue of the journal Zoological Studies.

The new wrasse is a member of the H. ornatissimus species complex, and can be distinguished from the other three species in the complex (H. cosmetus, H. orientalis and H. ornatissimus) by a combination of colour pattern and sequence divergence in a fragment of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene analysed.

According to the authors, the new species is nearly always found outside barrier reefs or off exposed shores.

For more information, see the paper: Randall, JE and LA Rocha (2009) Halichoeres claudia sp. nov., a new Indo-Pacific wrasse (Perciformes: Labridae), the fourth species of the H. ornatissimus complex. Zoological Studies 48, pp. 709"718.