Hibino, Y., Shibata, J. & Kimura, S. Ichthyol Res (2014) 61: 317. doi:10.1007/s10228-014-0398-7
A new species of snake eel (family Ophichthidae, subfamily Ophichthinae), Apterichtus hatookai, is described based on the 478.5 mm holotype and three paratypes, 265.0–519.4 mm in total length (TL), collected from the Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Shikoku Island and central Honshu Island, Japan. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners, except for Apterichtus monodi and Apterichtus orientalis, by having seven supratemporal pores. The new species is distinguishable from A. monodi by having a longer tail (60.4–62.0 % TL vs. 57.4–60.2 %), four preopercular pores (vs. three), fewer lateral-line pores before the anus (54–58 vs. 63–68), and fewer total vertebrae (137–141 vs. 142–151). Apterichtus hatookai differs from A. orientalis in having a shorter head (5.1–6.1 % TL vs. 7.1–8.1 %; 13.3–16.0 % of preanal length vs. 16.2–18.0 %), a longer tail (60.4–62.0 % TL vs. 54.8–56.0 %), lower body depth at gill opening (0.9–1.5 % TL vs. 1.8–1.9; 2.3–3.8 % of preanal length vs. 4.1–4.2 %), more numerous total vertebrae (137–141 vs. 131–133), and by the anterior tip of the lower jaw below the center of the eye (vs. anterior to a vertical through anterior margin of eye).
Ophichthidae ApterichtusNew species Japan Pacific Ocean