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Zookeys. 2013 Jun 4;(306):71-81. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.306.5198. Print 2013.

A new Haptoclinus blenny (Teleostei, Labrisomidae) from deep reefs off Curaçao, southern Caribbean, with comments on relationships of the genus.

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Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560.


A second species of the blenniiform genus Haptoclinus is described from deep reefs off Curaçao, southern Caribbean. Haptoclinus dropi sp. n. differs from the northwestern Caribbean Haptoclinus apectolophus Böhlke and Robins, 1974, in having 29 total dorsal-fin elements-III-I-XIII, 12 (vs. 31-III-I-XIV, 13 or III-I-XIII, 14); 19 anal-fin soft rays (vs. 20-21); 12 pectoral-fin rays (vs. 13); 12 precaudal vertebrae (vs. 13); and the first dorsal-fin spine longer than the second (vs. the second longer than the first). It further differs from Haptoclinus apectolophus in lacking scales (vs. three-quarters of body densely scaled), in having a distinctive pattern of spotting on the trunk and fins in preservative (vs. no spotting), and in lacking a fleshy flap on the anterior rim of the posterior nostril (vs. flap present). Color in life is unknown for Haptoclinus apectolophus, and the color description presented for the new species constitutes the first color information for the genus. Familial placement of Haptoclinus remains questionable, but the limited relevant information obtained from morphological examination of the new species provides additional support for a close relationship with the Chaenopsidae. Haptoclinus dropi represents one of numerous new teleost species emerging from sampling to 300 m off Curaçao as part of the Smithsonian Institution's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP).


Blenniiformes; Haptoclinus apectolophus, Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP); Substation Curaçao; submersible

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