Gnatholepis thompsoni

photo by J. Van Tassell
photo by Peter Wirtz        

IDENTIFICATION

Head Pores - Cephalic lateral canal system with pores A',B,C,D(S),F,H' and K',L' and preopercle canal with pores M',N,'O'

Scales - Scales att ctenoid wit about 34 large scales in lateral series; cheek and opercle completely scaled.

Fins - D1 - VI; D2 - 12; anal - 12; pectoral - 17; pelvic I,5 akk rays branched, fin a complete disk with frenum, ovate in shape and extending to the origin of the anal fin. Counts from a single specimen from the Canary Islands.

Head -

Papillae - A transverse pattern with row d seperated into two widely seperate sections, the posterior section consisting of only 4-6 papillae; first three vertical rows extend about 1/2 the distance from the orbit to row d; rows 4,5,6 are short and near the orbit only; row b short with one vertical row at the anterior end extending from row b to the level of row d.

Color - A prominant gold spot above pectoral fin and a dark vertical bar under the eye destinquish this species; boby and fins with small brown spots in longitudinal rows, a series of 5-6 vertical brown bands on body.

Distribution -In the western Atlantic: Bermuda, Florida, Bahamas, Antilles and Central American coast; In the eastern Atlantic known from the Cape Verdi, Canary Islands and Maderia. A recent introduction to the Canary Islands as of 1998-99. Now abundant along the south shore of Gran Canaria from Puerto Rico to Mogan(J. Van Tassell, pers. observations).

Habitat -

Notes - This species has recently invaded the Canary Islands. It is very common in areas of Gran Canaria and was also found on Lanzarote by J. Van Tassell in Oct. 2000