Halichoeres erdmanni and H. hilomeni are two new species of wrasses that Dr. Gerald Allen recently brought to our attention with their official description. The two new Halichoeres species were described in the latest issue of issue of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Both the new Halichoeres species were described from specimens in the Indo-pacific region; West Papua for H. erdmanni and the Phillipines for H. hilomeni although there is photographic record of this latter species in Malaysia.
Halichoeres hilomeni is a smaller species with the largest male holotype reaching a length of just under four inches (10 cm). Like most Halichoeres and many wrasses H. hilomeni is sexual dichromatic with females being pale green overall with a dark stripe along the flank and two red lines below it, the lower most breaking up into a series of large red spots as it progresses to a male. Males of H. hilomeni are green overall with the dark stripe mostly faded to reveal a nearly checkerboard pattern of red on green scales, with the the lower most row being made up of really noticeable red spots. Halichoeres erdmanni is pictured after the break.
Halichoeres erdmanni is even smaller than H. hilomeni with the largest male holotype being just over three inches (7cm) long. This species has a color pattern reminiscent of the typical melanurus wrasse although there’s no telling yet if it can become quite as colorful. Juveniles are females of H. erdmanni are relatively nondescript and resemble the generic small Halichoeres specimen. Male H. erdmanni sport some color similarities with H. melanurus and H. cosmetus with broad pink stripes on the face, and a yellow and black spot on the pectoral fin.