A new species of grouper, Epinephelus craigi (Perciformes: Epinephelidae), from the South China Sea

TitleA new species of grouper, Epinephelus craigi (Perciformes: Epinephelidae), from the South China Sea
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsFrable B.W, Tucker S.J, Walker H.J
JournalIchthyological Research
Volume66
Pagination215-224
Date Published2019/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1341-8998
Accession NumberWOS:000464904900002
KeywordsCytochrome; DNA; Epinephelus stictus; fish; Five-bar grouper; oxidaseI; Species description; zoology
Abstract

A new species of grouper, Epinephelus craigi. sp. nov., from the South China Sea is described from 17 specimens (104-250mm SL). The new species is distinguished from Epinephelus stictus (Randall and Allen 1987) with which it has historically been conflated, based on coloration, meristics, morphology, and genetics. Epinephelus craigi sp. nov. has a unique color pattern of irregular squarish, dark brown blotches interrupting lighter brown bars along the lateral midline of the body, and small dots on the dorsal surface of the body. Additionally, E. craigi sp. nov. has a longer upper jaw, shorter snout length, narrower interorbital width, and shorter caudal peduncle than E. stictus. Both E. stictus and the new species are relatively deep-water species, with the new species occurring to at least 93m. Epinephelus craigi sp. nov. is known from the South China Sea and E. stictus is known from Western Australia and southern Indonesia, suggesting allopatric and anti-equatorial distributions. DNA sequence divergence data of the mitochondrial COI gene further supports the distinction of E. craigi sp. nov. from E. stictus.

DOI10.1007/s10228-018-0669-9
Short TitleIchthyol. Res.
Student Publication: 
No