A new species of Halichoeres (Teleostei: Labridae) from the western Gulf of Mexico

Weaver, Douglas C. and Luiz A. Rocha. 2007. A new species of Halichoeres (Teleostei: Labridae) from the western Gulf of Mexico.

Copeia. 2007(4): 798-807

This publication describes a new (to science) species of coral reef wrasse found by REEF surveyors at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). This species was nicknamed the "Mardi Gras wrasse" by sanctuary staff due to the bright purple, yellow and green coloration of the terminal male phase. The fish was originally discovered at the East Flower Garden Bank by members of a REEF survey team in 1997, and has been periodically observed (primarily at Stetson Bank) since that time. Subsequent investigation by Doug Weaver and sanctuary staff confirmed that it was in fact a previously undescribed species of wrasse. The scientific name of the species is Halichoeres burekae, in honor of FGBNMS photographers Frank and Joyce Burek, who obtained the first photograph of the fish. The Mardi Gras wrasse has also since been reported from the Veracruz region of Mexico.

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