An Annotated Checklist Of The Fishes Of The Chagos Archipelagos Central Indian Ocean

A two-and-a-half month collecting expedition to the Chagos Archipelago, central Indian Ocean ('' S and'' E), plus two other smaller collections made in 1980 and 1985, yielded specimens of 585 species of fishes, with an additional 16 species seen but not collected. A further 100 species are recorded from the literature, and 2 additional species from Chagos were discovered in the collections of the British Museum (Natural History). For species that we collected, we provide information on the numbers of lots, number and size range of specimens, range of depth of capture, major habitat, atoll/islands where collected, and standard lengths of specimens for which colour transparencies taken soon after death are available. A breakdown of habitat and depth associations for the more common species is provided, as well as a discussion of systematic problems where encountered. Black-and-white photographs of preserved specimens of species collected but not photographed in colour in the field are included, together with black-and-white prints of colour transparencies of species we did photograph in the field. Eight habitat photographs and 56 fish portraits are illustrated in 8 colour plates. Faunal affinities were as follows: Indo-Pacific 50.4%, Indo-west Pacific 12.1%, Indo-west Pacific and marginally on the Pacific plate 8.4%, western Indian Ocean 6.0%, cosmopolitan 2.6%, Indian Ocean 2.3%, circumtropical 2.3%, Indian Ocean and western extremity of west Pacific 0.8%, endemic 0.4%, central Indian Ocean 0.3%, "Indo-west Pacific" 0.3%, Indo-Pacific and western Atlantic 0.1%, and Indo-west Pacific and Mediterranean 0.1%. Approximately half of the 13.9% of the fauna not assigned a faunal affinity (for a variety of reasons) consisted of gobiids (7.5% total fauna). Five families dominate the fauna (Gobiidae, Labridae, Pomacentridae, Serranidae, and Muraenidae) and together constitute 38% of the total fauna. The 100 species of the Gobioidei known from the archipelago (Gobiidae, Eleotrididae, Microdesmidae, and Kraemeriidae) have been treated in detail previously in this series, and are not included here.
Winterbottom Richard , Emery Alan , Holm E .