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- Chromis circumaurea Richard L. Pyle, 2008, Zootaxa 1671: 15-18.
(Figs. 3 a – 3 c, Table 4; Morphbank 105; GenBank 106; Barcode 107)
Holotype.BPBM40836 108 (98.2 mm SL), Caroline Islands; Yap, S end; “Magic Kingdom” (9 ° 26 ' 3.41 "N, 138 ° 2 ' 5.96 "E): among boulders on sloping shelf above deep drop-off, 98–100 m, hand net, R.L. Pyle and B.D. Greene, 20 April 2007 [PCMB3080 109]. Paratypes.BMNH2007.10. 31.3 110 (102.4 mm SL) [PCMB3081 111]. CAS225757 112 (97.6 mm SL) [PCMB3078 113]. MNHN2007 - 1924 114 (92.5 mm SL) [PCMB3076 115]. USNM391138 116 (94.2 mm SL) [PCMB3077 117]. WAM P. 32900 -001 118 (96.6 mm SL) [PCMB3079 119]. All with same data as holotype.
Diagnosis. Dorsal rays XIV, 12–13 (usually 13); anal rays II, 13–14 (usually 13); pectoral rays 18–19; spiniform caudal rays 3; tubed lateral-line scales 16–17; gill rakers 6–7 + 20–21 (total 26–27); body depth 1.68–1.86 in SL; color when fresh mahogany brown with bright yellow distally on spinous portion of dorsal fin; soft portion of dorsal fin, caudal fin, and anal fin bright yellow.
Description. Dorsal rays XIV, 13 (12 in one paratype); anal rays II, 13 (14 in one paratype); all dorsal and anal rays branched, the last to base in some specimens; pectoral rays 19 (18–19), the upper 2 and lowermost unbranched; pelvic rays I, 5; principal caudal rays 8 + 7 = 15; upper and lower procurrent caudal rays 5, the anterior 3 spiniform, the posterior 2 segmented and unbranched; tubed lateral-line scales 16
Etymology. Named circumaurea, an adjective derived from the Latin words circum (meaning “around”) and aurea (meaning “golden, of gold”), in reference to the golden-yellow anal fin, caudal fin, and outer margin of the dorsal fin.
Remarks. This species was first observed and photographed from a submersible by Patrick L. Colin at Enewetak in the Marshall Islands. An unconfirmed sighting and video clip of this species from the Mariana Islands requires verification. It was observed at Yap at depths of 98–120 m, in a group of about a dozen individuals living among large (~ 1–2 m) rock boulders just above the upper edge of a precipitous drop-off. A juvenile of approximately 40 mm SL was observed by the first author at a depth of 120 m, below the site where the type specimens were collected; its color pattern was consistent with that of the adults. Two photos appearing on p. 390 of Kuiter & Tonozuka (2001), labelled as Chromis analis120 (Cuvier 1830), bear a remarkable resemblance to C. circumaurea, but differ in number of dorsal-fin spines (XIII vs. XIV) and color of body (paler in C. analis), caudal peduncle (dark centrally vs. entriely yellow), and central region of caudal fin (transparent vs. yellow). This species also bears a superficial resemblance in color to Chromis flavicauda121 (Günther 1880) from the western Atlantic Ocean, but is readily distinguished from that species on the basis of body color (blue in C. flavicauda vs. brown in C. circumaurea), dorsal-fin rays (XIII, 11–12vs. XIV, 12–13, usually 13), anal-fin soft rays (11vs.13). Similarities with other deep-dwelling species with XIV dorsal-fin spines, including the new species C. abyssus described herein, are discussed in the Remarks section of C. abyssus.
- Richard L. Pyle; John L. Earle; Brian D. Greene; 2008: Five new species of the damselfish genus Chromis (Perciformes: Labroidei: Pomacentridae) from deep coral reefs in the tropical western Pacific, Zootaxa 1671: 15-18. doi