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Zoology Publications from Victoria University of Wellington—Nos. 33 and 34

L. Anguilla obscura (Text-fig. 3, A, B, C)

L. Anguilla obscura (Text-fig. 3, A, B, C)

Material Examined. One specimen, 49.6mm total length; IFO St. G 16; 16° 52′ S., 166° 26′ E; 27/2/62; horizontal tow in 16m; 1m plankton net.

Description. Measurements in mm: head 4.0, snout 1.1, eye 0.9, upper jaw 1.8, postorbital 2.4, pectoral 1.0, preanal 36.1, predorsal 33.3, depth just before eye 1.4, depth at pectoral origin 3.0, depth at midpoint between pectoral and vent 8.8, depth at anal origin 7.6. Branchiostegal rays 8; pectoral rays not obvious; dorsal rays before level of vent 59, total rays 216, 1st dorsal ray at myomere 63; anal rays 204; caudal rays 2 + 2 + 2 + 2. Teeth 1 + 1 + IV + 12 over 1 + VIII + 5. Myomeres 70 + 33 = 103. a–d = 5. Vertical blood-vessels at 17, 37, 43.

Body moderately elongate, much compressed, deep, with the greatest depth contained five times in total length. Head short, about one-eleventh of total length, rather depressed so that it is well differentiated from trunk; snout short, about one-fourth of head length, its dorsal profile convex; anterior and posterior nostrils well separated; eye about equal to length of snout, oval; cleft of mouth oblique, extending almost to level of posterior margin of eye; teeth conspicuous, very acute, 18 in upper jaw projecting outside those of lower jaw which number about 13, distributed as follows: first tooth of upper jaw small, needle-like, directed anteriorly and placed immediately above the second, much larger, anteriorly-directed grasping tooth; these two are followed by a series of four large teeth and a final series of 12 noticeably smaller teeth; lower teeth similar to those of upper jaw with the absence of the needle-like anterior tooth. Branchiostegal rays delicate and curving up around the operculum. Pectoral fin about 1.5 times diameter of eye, rounded, fleshy. Median fins well developed with fin rays and radials clearly visible.

Colour in preservative translucent with black pigment restricted to the chorioid of the eye.

Remarks. The specimen belongs to a short-finned species, having five myomeres between the levels of the dorsal and anal origins. The myomeres number 103, and this character fully identifies the specimen with A. obscura which has 101–107 vertebrae. The specimen is well advanced in development having very nearly a full complement of teeth, well developed fin-rays, etc., and the vent placed half way between the midpoint of the body and the tip of the caudal region.