Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics endemic rainbowfish genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes Melanotaeniidae), with description of a new species

Michael P. Hammer, Gerald R. Allen, Keith C. Martin, Mark Adams, Brendan C. Ebner, Tarmo A. Raadik, Peter J. Unmack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The freshwater melanotaeniid genus Cairnsichthys is endemic to a relatively small area of specialised habitat within the Wet Tropics bioregion of north-eastern Queensland, Australia. It was previously considered as monotypic, including only a single species, C. rhombosomoides (Nichols & Raven, 1928). The recent discovery of an apparently-isolated population in the Daintree rainforest, approximately 120 km north of the known range extent, prompted a detailed investigation of its taxonomic status using a combined lines of evidence approach. We provide compelling evidence from multiple nuclear genetic markers (52 allozyme loci), mitochondrial DNA sequence data (1141 bp cytochrome b) and morphology (examination of a suite of 38 morphometric and meristic characters) that supports north-south splitting of C. rhombosomoides. Accordingly, we describe the northern population as a distinct species, C. bitaeniatus sp. nov., on the basis of 25 specimens, 34.7–65.6 mm SL. The new species differs morphologically primarily by having a more slender and narrow shape, featuring a flatter, straighter predorsal profile and shorter second dorsal fin base; possession of slightly smaller scales, reflected in higher counts of lateral scales and predorsal scales; typically more vertebrae; and colour differences including a more robust, short black stripe across the upper operculum, a pronounced yellow patch on the anteroventral body and usually a more conspicuous second dark stripe on the lower body, with adult males generally having yellowish compared to reddish fins. We also provide a generic diagnosis for Cairnsichthys and a redescription of C. rhombosomoides. Information on the known distribution, habitats and conservation status of species in the genus is summarised, the new species being of particular concern as a narrow range endemic with specific environmental requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-294
Number of pages24
JournalZootaxa
Volume4413
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Atheriniformes
tropics
new species
fins
meristics
isolated population
genetic marker
conservation status
habitat
allozyme
habitats
vertebrae
redescriptions
cytochrome b
rainforest
allozymes
mitochondrial DNA
Queensland
rain forests
cytochrome

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Hammer, Michael P. ; Allen, Gerald R. ; Martin, Keith C. ; Adams, Mark ; Ebner, Brendan C. ; Raadik, Tarmo A. ; Unmack, Peter J. / Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics endemic rainbowfish genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes Melanotaeniidae), with description of a new species. In: Zootaxa. 2018 ; Vol. 4413, No. 2. pp. 271-294.
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abstract = "The freshwater melanotaeniid genus Cairnsichthys is endemic to a relatively small area of specialised habitat within the Wet Tropics bioregion of north-eastern Queensland, Australia. It was previously considered as monotypic, including only a single species, C. rhombosomoides (Nichols & Raven, 1928). The recent discovery of an apparently-isolated population in the Daintree rainforest, approximately 120 km north of the known range extent, prompted a detailed investigation of its taxonomic status using a combined lines of evidence approach. We provide compelling evidence from multiple nuclear genetic markers (52 allozyme loci), mitochondrial DNA sequence data (1141 bp cytochrome b) and morphology (examination of a suite of 38 morphometric and meristic characters) that supports north-south splitting of C. rhombosomoides. Accordingly, we describe the northern population as a distinct species, C. bitaeniatus sp. nov., on the basis of 25 specimens, 34.7–65.6 mm SL. The new species differs morphologically primarily by having a more slender and narrow shape, featuring a flatter, straighter predorsal profile and shorter second dorsal fin base; possession of slightly smaller scales, reflected in higher counts of lateral scales and predorsal scales; typically more vertebrae; and colour differences including a more robust, short black stripe across the upper operculum, a pronounced yellow patch on the anteroventral body and usually a more conspicuous second dark stripe on the lower body, with adult males generally having yellowish compared to reddish fins. We also provide a generic diagnosis for Cairnsichthys and a redescription of C. rhombosomoides. Information on the known distribution, habitats and conservation status of species in the genus is summarised, the new species being of particular concern as a narrow range endemic with specific environmental requirements.",
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Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics endemic rainbowfish genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes Melanotaeniidae), with description of a new species. / Hammer, Michael P.; Allen, Gerald R.; Martin, Keith C.; Adams, Mark; Ebner, Brendan C.; Raadik, Tarmo A.; Unmack, Peter J.

In: Zootaxa, Vol. 4413, No. 2, 2018, p. 271-294.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Revision of the Australian Wet Tropics endemic rainbowfish genus Cairnsichthys (Atheriniformes Melanotaeniidae), with description of a new species

AU - Hammer, Michael P.

AU - Allen, Gerald R.

AU - Martin, Keith C.

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AB - The freshwater melanotaeniid genus Cairnsichthys is endemic to a relatively small area of specialised habitat within the Wet Tropics bioregion of north-eastern Queensland, Australia. It was previously considered as monotypic, including only a single species, C. rhombosomoides (Nichols & Raven, 1928). The recent discovery of an apparently-isolated population in the Daintree rainforest, approximately 120 km north of the known range extent, prompted a detailed investigation of its taxonomic status using a combined lines of evidence approach. We provide compelling evidence from multiple nuclear genetic markers (52 allozyme loci), mitochondrial DNA sequence data (1141 bp cytochrome b) and morphology (examination of a suite of 38 morphometric and meristic characters) that supports north-south splitting of C. rhombosomoides. Accordingly, we describe the northern population as a distinct species, C. bitaeniatus sp. nov., on the basis of 25 specimens, 34.7–65.6 mm SL. The new species differs morphologically primarily by having a more slender and narrow shape, featuring a flatter, straighter predorsal profile and shorter second dorsal fin base; possession of slightly smaller scales, reflected in higher counts of lateral scales and predorsal scales; typically more vertebrae; and colour differences including a more robust, short black stripe across the upper operculum, a pronounced yellow patch on the anteroventral body and usually a more conspicuous second dark stripe on the lower body, with adult males generally having yellowish compared to reddish fins. We also provide a generic diagnosis for Cairnsichthys and a redescription of C. rhombosomoides. Information on the known distribution, habitats and conservation status of species in the genus is summarised, the new species being of particular concern as a narrow range endemic with specific environmental requirements.

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KW - fishes

KW - conservation

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