Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage

Holanthias tapui

Polynesian Anthias

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Open this image in pop-up window Image: Adult specimen with head detail 28KB
Open this image in pop-up window Image: Adult - dead; mouth detail 12KB

General Information

COMMON NAMES: Polynesian Anthias

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION: NATIVE Southeast Polynesia (Cooks - Societies)

COOK ISLANDS STATUS: Native, Endemic of se.Polynesia; A rare deepwater bottom fish, below 130m, known only from Tahiti and the S.Group Cook Islands. The first specimen was found floating dead off RR in July 1964 and sent by Ron Powell to Smith, w; Marine, near-shore, deepbottom

SIGNIFICANCE LIST: rare food-fish

KEY FEATURES: SL 18cm, with 12cm lyre-like tail. Body oval, depth 2.3 into SL. Mouth strongly oblique, protrusible, with many small teeth and larger canines. Overall vivid pink with uniformly golden-yellow face, yellow spotted upper body; yellow tail with red inner rim and pink on upper and lower edges; anterior Dorsal Fin with yellow membranes, and posterior Dorsal with yellow filaments - first filament very large (protruding 7cm).

SIMILAR SPECIES: A very distinctive fish in colour and the extreme extension of the tail and posterior dorsal fin filament.

Enlarged Image of 'Holanthias tapui'

Cook Islands Distribution

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Southern Group: Present    Makatea:

Northern Group:

Key to Symbols

Scientific Taxonomy

Holanthias tapui (Randall, Maugé, & Plessis, 1979)
SYNONYMS: Scalantarus chrysostictus [of Smith 1964, not Günther]

TAXONOMY: ANIMALIA; CHORDATA; GNATHOSTOMATA (Jawed Vertebrates); PISCES; OSTEICHTHYES; Perciformes; Percoidei; Percoidea; SERRANIDAE, Anthiinae. COMMENT: Type Tahiti 300m. Named for Jean Tapu of Tahiti who donated several fishes to the Bishop Museum, including the Tahiti specimen]

Vouchers & References

Rarotonga: offshore, dead on surface, coll. Powell '64, described Smith as Scalantarus chrysostictus RUSI-4680, reassigned Randall, Maugé & Plessis 1979. Mitiaro: handline specimens Tuakana Turangitira 10/98 at 130m & 11/98 at 140m; Photo GMc, ID J.E.Randall. Palmerston: 1 specimen, deep-bottom trials 1988 (Preston95).

Special Reference: Randall, Mange and Plessis (1979) Two New Anthiine Fishes of the Genus $Holanthias@ from the Southern and Western Pacific. Jap. J. Ichthyology 26(1):15-25; Smith, J.L. 1964. A rare anthiid fish from Cook Islands, Pacific, with a resume of related species. Ann. Mag. Natu. Hist. ser. 13, 7:533-537, pl.12.

Data Update History (information):
zTX, zB02, zM02, zupM06a, zD02

Web Resources

Citation Information

McCormack, Gerald (2007) Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga. Online at Copy citation to system clipboard
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