A new species of scorpionfish, Maxillicosta meridianus, is described on the basis of 24 specimens collected from southeastern Australia at depths of 10–137 m. This species has previously been identified as M. whitleyi, but differs in having the following characters: central portion of inner ridge on ventral mandibular surface located on inner edge of dentary or closer to inner edge than to central ridge, no short ridge between posterior portions of inner and central ridges; 0–6 spinous points on anterior margin of nasal spine; 5–13 spinous points on surface of preocular spine; no spines or distinct ridges on lateral margin of occipital pit between tympanic spine and origin of parietal spine base; no ossified scale behind front edge of occipital pit between tympanic spines; dorsal surface of occipital pit smooth, without spines; two (rarely one or three) spinous points at tip of upper opercular spine; posterior margin of maxilla extending slightly beyond a vertical through posterior margin of pupil; and caudal fin usually without distinct markings in preserved specimens. Additionally, the two species significantly differ in eight meristic and six morphometric features. Morphological changes with growth and geographic variation are also discussed.
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Vol. 2006 • No. 3