Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 48(1): 15-16 (1987)
NEW AUSTRALIAN FISHES. PART 5.
A NEW SPECIES OF ACANTHURUS (ACANTHURIDAE).
By G. R. Allen 1 and A. M. Ayling 2
'Department of Ichthyology, Western Australian Museum,
Francis Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000
^Marine Research Foundation, PMB 1, Daintree, Queensland 4873
Allen, G.R. and Ayling, A.M., 1987. New Australian fishes. Part 5. A new species oi Acant hu-
nts (Acanthuridae). Mem. Mus. Vict. 48: 15-16.
A new species of surgeonfish, Acanlhurus albipectoralis is described on the basis of two speci-
mens collected on the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. It is most similar to A. mala, but differs
in colour, most notably that of the pectoral fins, which are blackish basally and abruptly white
on the distal half.
The surgeonfish family Acanthuridae contains 10
genera with about 78 species. Australia is
represented by seven genera and 31 species, in-
cluding a new Acanthurus which is described
herein. The genus Acanthurus was revised by
Randall (1956). Type specimens of the new taxon
are deposited at the Queensland Museum, Bris-
bane (QM) and Western Australian Museum,
Acanthurus albipectoralis sp. nov.
Material examined. Holotype: Queensland, Swains Reefs,
Great Barrier Reef (20°57'S, 152°15'E), 5 m, spear, A.M. Ay-
ling, 13 Dec 1985, QM 1.223541 (212 mm SL).
Paratype: Coral Sea Territory, W. side of West Herald Cay
(17°00'S, 149°07'E), 20 m, spear, G.R. Allen, 17 Nov 1985,
WAM P28537-001 (261 mm SL).
Description, (counts and proportions in paren-
theses refer to the paratype if different from holo-
type). Dorsal rays IX, 33; anal rays III, 23;
pectoral rays 16 (17); gill rakers on first arch 5
+ 9 + 14(4 + 10 = 14); body oblong and later-
ally compressed, snout rounded; greatest body
depth 2.3 (2.4), head length 3.8, predorsal dis-
tance 3.0, preanal distance 2.0 (2.1), length of
dorsal fin base 1.5, of anal fin base 1.9 (2.2), all
in standard length; greatest width of body 2.5
(2.8) in greatest depth; snout length 2.0, eye di-
ameter 4.0 (4.4), interorbital width 3.0 (2.8),
length of maxillary 4.7 (5.3); least depth of cau-
dal peduncle 3.1 (3.3), length of caudal pedun-
cle 2.3; of pectoral fin 1.0, of pelvic fin 1.7 (1.8),
of tallest dorsal fin ray 2.0 (2.1), of tallest anal
fin ray 2.6 (2.7), of caudal spine 5.8, of caudal
fin 0.9 (1.0); dorsal and anal fins relatively long
and low, their posterior profiles, angular; caudal
fin lunate with pointed tips; entire head and body
covered with small cteniod scales, those of head
partially embedded; a shallow groove, about
equal to eye diameter in length, present in front
of eye; teeth of jaws uniserial, club-shaped or
spatulate with serrated edges, about 20-24 in each
Colour in life, overall blackish including fins
except outer half of pectorals white.
Colour in alcohol, overall dark brown includ-
ing fins except outer half of pectorals white.
Distribution. Swains Reefs Queensland, and Her-
ald Cays (Coral Sea Territory).
Etymology. From the Latin albus (white) and
pectoralis (pectoral), referring to the distinctive
fin coloration which is highly visible underwater
and served to distinguish it from the similar A.
Remarks. This species resembles Acanthurus
mata Valenciennes which has a similar slender
shape (compared to other Acanthurus) and is also
a plankton feeder. The latter has usually been