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Keywords:

  • Arabian Sea;
  • fishes;
  • identification key;
  • morphology;
  • taxonomy

A new species of deep-living dragonet Callionymus omanensis from Oman is described on the basis of a single male specimen collected in a trawl from 500 m depth off the coast of Oman. The new species is characterized within the subgenus Bathycallionymus by having a small branchial opening; head short (3·9 in proportion to standard length); eye large (2·4 in proportion to head length); preopercular spine with a long, upcurved main tip, with a small antrorse barb and a larger antrorse spine, and with a strong antrorse spine laterally at the preopercular-spine base, ventral margin smooth; first dorsal fin slightly higher than second dorsal fin (male); second dorsal fin distally straight; 17 pectoral fin rays; distal end of caudal fin slightly pointed, with two median unbranched rays bearing short filaments; first dorsal fin with basal black spot reaching from first to fourth membranes, third membrane with an ocellated distal black blotch; second dorsal fin with vertical dark grey bars; distal three-fourths of anal fin black; upper half of caudal fin with oblique dark grey bars; pelvic fin dark grey, second ray basally with a black blotch. The new species is compared with similar species. Revised keys to callionymid species of the western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, as well as species of the subgenus Bathycallionymus, are presented.