Pseudomugil majusculus

Ivantsoff and Allen, 1984
Cape Blue-eye

Species Summary
Pseudomugil majusculus have a moderately compressed and elongated body that usually doesn't exceed 5 cm. The body colour is mainly pale yellow with fine, dark scale outlines. There is a horizontal row of about 10 vertically elongated, white spots along the middle of the side. The lower edge of the breast is yellow and there are white margins on the anal and second dorsal fins. Mature males have a slightly larger first dorsal fin than females (sometimes with a short filamentous extension). Pseudomugil majusculus is similar in appearance to Pseudomugil signifer.

Distribution & Habitat
Pseudomugil majusculus were initially collected in 1979 by Bruce Collette, an American ichthyologist, from brackish water on the northern coast of New Guinea, near Cape Ward Hunt, approximately 190 kilometres northeast of Port Moresby. They have also been collected from a freshwater stream on Tagula (Sudest) Island, in the Louisiade Archipelago. Tagula Island is about 280 kilometres southeast of Papua New Guinea. It is the largest island of the archipelago with an area of 800 km². They are probably euryhaline and inhabit a wide range of natural habitats including mangrove swamps, marine estuaries and freshwater streams.

Live specimens were collected in June 1993 by Ernie Frei from Tagula Island, but it is currently rare (or non-existent) in the aquarium hobby. It was named "Majusculus" (Latin), meaning somewhat larger or greater, thus implying that this species grows to a larger size than other species of Pseudomugil.

Allen G.R. (1991) Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea.

Allen G.R. (1995) Rainbowfishes in Nature and in the Aquarium. (Tetra-Verlag: Germany.)

Ivantsoff W. and G.R. Allen (1984) Two new species of Pseudomugil (Pisces: Melanotaeniidae) from Irian Jaya and New Guinea. Australian Zoologist 21: 479-489.

Ivantsoff W. (1999) Order Atheriniformes. Pseudomugilidae. Blue eyes. p. 2109-2112. In K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO, Rome.

Saeed B., W. Ivantsoff, and G. R. Allen (1989). Taxonomic revision of the family Pseudomugilidae (Order Atheriniformes). Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 40: 719-787.

Adrian R. Tappin
Updated December, 2008

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Pseudomugil majusculus