Description of a New Species of Rariphotic Parapercis (Perciformes: Pinguipedidae) from the Solomon Islands

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A new species belonging to the pinguipedid genus Parapercis is described herein from a single specimen collected via a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from rariphotic depths in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Parapercis rota, new species, is readily distinguished from all other congeners by a unique pigmentation pattern comprising four large, rounded, orangish-olive saddles dorsally on the flank, each with a distinct, large, dorsomedial white spot completely enclosed within the saddles, plus a fifth saddle on the caudal peduncle with only a small white dorsomedial dot; 10 discrete broad, dark orangish-olive oval vertical bars below the lateral midline; a single row of dark spots on the soft dorsal fin; caudal fin lined dorsally and ventrally with stripes of yellowish-olive pigmentation extending the length of the fin; and two prominent dark brown to black spots at the caudal-fin base. ROV-based collecting systems are a promising and relatively affordable technology for studying ichthyological diversity on deeper reef habitats, particularly those beyond the reach of technical SCUBA. The discovery and description of P. rota adds to the growing number of Parapercis species that are known to occur in mesophotic and deeper waters. ©

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American Museum Novitates