Aseraggodes whitakeri Woods, 1966
Whitaker's sole
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Soleidae (Soles)
Max. size:  4 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 37 m
Distribution:  Pacific Ocean: Marshall Islands and Society Islands.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal soft rays (total): 71-78; Anal soft rays: 48-53; Vertebrae: 36-38. Diagnosis. Dorsal rays 71-78; anal rays 48-53; pelvic rays 5 (3 in one side on one aberrant specimen); caudal rays 18, 14 branched (17 rays, 13 branched in one specimen). Lateral-line scales 77-86, including 10-12 anterior to a vertical at upper end of gill opening). Most scales of ocular side of body with 8-10 cteni (up to 11 on largest specimens); narrowest interorbital space with 2 scales; eyes with only I or 2 scales extending onto medial edge, and only about 3 rows anteriorly. Vertebrae 36-38; dorsal pterygiophores anterior to fourth neural spine 14-15. Body depth 2.55-2.75 in SL; head length (HL) 4.1-4.35 in SL. An overhanging fleshy snout, the lower edge of upper lip usually extending ventral to lower lip and jutting anterior to profile of head below mouth (more evident in smaller specimens); eye diameter 4.7-5.55 in HL; upper eye varying from one-half to full eye diameter anterior to lower eye; interorbital space very narrow, the vertical distance separating eyes less than half eye diameter. Caudal peduncle present, its length 7.2-10.0 in HL. Ventral edge of head posterior to mouth with 10-19 lappet-like cirri; edge of operculum at gill opening with slender well-spaced cirri on both sides; edge of lengthwise membranous ridges of dorsal and anal rays of ocular side with cirri, reduced and disappearing on about posterior half of fins; cirri also present on rays of blind side, but fewer and restricted to more anterior rays. Lateral line aligned with dorsal edge of upper eye; upper end of gill opening in line with ventral fleshy edge of lower eye; anterior nostril reaching fleshy base of lower eye when laid back. Caudal fin slightly pointed, its length 3.05-3.65 in SL; longest dorsal ray 1.4-1.8 in HL; anal rays and all but anterior dorsal rays of larger specimens branched distally; pelvic fins long 1.65-1.85 in HL, the tip of longest ray extending to base of third or fourth anal ray. Color in alcohol of ocular side of most specimens pale tan without any dark markings; American Samoan specimens with faint dark blotches in 3 rows on the ocular side, one row below base of dorsal fin, one along lateral line and one above base of anal fin; yellowish tan with many irregular pale markings partially outlined with dusky brown; fins pale with dusky specks (Ref. 57560).
Biology:  A single specimen collected from a lagoon coral head at Rongerik Atoll, at a depth of 6 m (Ref. 1602).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 06 March 2015 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 29.04.96

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