Characterised by elongated, cylindrical bodies, large eyes and a body colouration typically consisting of
alternating longitudinal stripes which are red, yellow or white and extend along the full length of the body, Terelabrus wrasses are infrequently encountered in the trade.
Now a team which included scientists from The California Academy of Sciences, have announced a brand new species in the genus, taking the new total to 5 species.
Collected with hand nets while diving on mixed-gas closed-circuit rebreather in French Polynesia and Micronesia the Tahitian striped hogfish Terelabrus toretore has described from two specimens collected at a depth of 140m from a mesophotic coral ecosystem in Tahitian waters. In addition to specific morphological characteristics, the species is distinguished by a colouration consisting of a yellow caudal fin and a wide, red, mid-lateral stripe with no blotching, the space above which is white anteriorly, becoming predominantly yellow from beneath the dorsal fin to the caudal peduncle.
In addition to describing this new species, the team documented the first record of Terelabrus rubrovittatus from the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the first record of Terelabrus zonalis from Australia, along with the first description of its colouration. They also present a molecular phylogeny of the genus based upon mitochondrial DNA sequences.