Pseudochromis erdmanni is a new species of dottyback from Indonesia which has just been described by Jack Randall. The specimens used in the description of P. erdmanni were collected from Ambon and the Rajah Ampat Islands of Indonesia but is also known to occur in Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, according to pictures in books by Kuiter, Tanaka and Debelius. Pseudochromis erdmanni is named in honor of Mark Erdmann of Conservation International who was also responsible for the collection and discovery of new dottyback species from Bali.
The Pseudochromis genus is currently being used as a catch-all for a wide range of different dottyback but it is clear that there exists multiple lineages, with Pseudochromis erdmanni belonging to the group which contains Pseudochromis steenei, P. moorei and P. perspicillatus. Steene’s dottyback and Moore’s dootyback are frequently seen in the aquarium trade and they are very similar to Erdmann’s dottyback.
Females of all of these Pseudochromis species are mostly grey with a subtle white stripe under the eye. The males of Pseudochromis erdmanni differ from Steene’s dottyback by lacking a dark bar on the anal and pelvic fins and it is distinguished from Moore’s dottyback which has a much more pronounced white bar under the eye. Furthermore, the various dottyback species can be distinguished based on their origin; Pseudochromis steenei comes mostly from Bali and Southern Indonesia, Pseudochromis erdmanni is found in Sulawesi and West Papua while Pseudochromis moorei is the most northerly species hailing from the Phillipines.