Taxonomy of bathylagid and microstomatid fishes

Bathylagichthys kobylianskyi paratype (C. Struthers) Microstoma australis (Ken Graeme)

In 2012 I was invited to contribute chapters on the families Bathylagidae and Microstomatidae for a book on the fishes of the Exclusive Economic Zone of New Zealand (EEZ). The book is being produced by a team of ichthyologists at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongareva, in Wellington, led by Clive Roberts, and is due to be published in August 2015. During 30 years of fisheries surveys of their EEZ the Te Papa museum amassed a very large collection of bathylagids as well as several rare microstomatids. I visited the Wellington twice (2012 & 2014) to work on this collection in collaboration with Andrew Stewart, the collection manager. Bathylagids and microstomatids are difficult to identify without vertebral counts.

During my first visit we x-rayed a large number of specimens and, not surprisingly, many were misidentified. The ensuing research revealed a new species each for the genera Bathylagichthys and Microstoma that were described in 2014.

The book was published in November 2016.