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Type: Article
Published: 2013-12-24
Page range: 185–198
Abstract views: 35
PDF downloaded: 22

A new species of wedgefish, Rhynchobatus immaculatus (Chondrichthyes, Rhynchobatidae), from Taiwan

CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Wealth from Oceans Flagship, GPO Box 1538, Hobart, TAS, 7001, Australia
National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium, Checheng, Pingtung 944, Taiwan.
Institute of Marine Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, National Dong Hwa University.
Rhynchobatidae Rhynchobatus immaculatus Taiwanese Wedgefish new species western North Pacific


A new species of wedgefish, Rhynchobatus immaculatus sp. nov., is described from a small collection of specimens obtained from fish markets in northern Taiwan. It is probably a medium-sized species (probably attaining ca. 1.5 m TL) because the largest known specimen, an immature male (ca. 1 m TL), has prolongated dorsal and caudal fins typical of adult wedgefishes. Rhynchobatus immaculatus is unique within the family in having a very high vertebral count (within the range of 165–170 total free centra) and in lacking a dark pectoral marking. Other Rhynchobatus species occurring in Taiwanese seas appear to attain a larger adult size, possess a dark pectoral marking at least in young, and have lower vertebral counts (fewer than 161 total fee centra). Rhynchobatus yentinesis, which was described from a specimen taken nearby at Wenzhou, China, has not yet been attributed to a currently recognised species. However, based on the illustration of the holotype, which reveals a broad-snouted species with a dark pectoral spot, it is closest to either R. palpebratus or R. springeri.


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