Colorful New Species of Indo-Pacific Fish Discovered

A team of U.S. and French biologists has discovered a gorgeous new species of fish during a recent expedition to the Gambier Archipelago, French Polynesia.

This is a specimen of the Striped toby, Canthigaster criobe, about 3.9 cm long from Gambier Archipelago (J.T. Williams)

The new species, named the Striped toby (Canthigaster criobe), belongs to the tetraodontid fish genus Canthigaster.

The Striped toby is the only known species in the genus having a dozen brown stripes along the body – stripes beginning in front of the eye, extending along the body, and abruptly ending at the base of the caudal fin.

“Although it is known from only a single specimen, the longitudinally striped color pattern of Canthigaster criobe is unique within the genus and easily distinguishes Canthigaster criobe from all other described Canthigaster species,” the biologists, led by Dr Jeffrey Williams of the National Museum of Natural History in Suitland, Maryland, said in a paper published in the journal Zootaxa.

“It also has 17 pectoral rays, the origin of the anal fin inserts posterior to a vertical from the rear base of the dorsal fin and lacks spots on the caudal fin.”

C. criobe is named after the Centre de Recherche Insulaire et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE), in recognition of the laboratory’s continuing support of marine research in French Polynesia.

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Bibliographic information: Jeffrey Williams et al. 2012. A new species of Indo-Pacific fish, Canthigaster criobe, with comments on other Canthigaster (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae) at the Gambier Archipelago. Zootaxa 3523: 80–88