Early Oligocene deposits of the Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Depression, Egypt, have provided three skulls that belong to a species of Lates (Perciformes, Latidae). This material differs from the other species of Lates in several features, such as the frontal bones of the fossils being broader anteriorly, the basioccipital facets having a more irregular shape, and the frontoparietal crests extending farther, and diverging, anteriorly. The Oligocene material therefore cannot be assigned to any of the described species of Lates, and is here described as a new species, L. qatraniensis. It is most similar to Lates niloticus, L. calcarifer, and L. angustifrons in the possession of an internal jugular bridge in the pterosphenoid, the parasphenoid contacting the pterosphenoid, and the anterior wall of the neurocranium (i.e., the anterior parts of the pterosphenoid, prootic, and ascending arm of the parasphenoid) extending significantly forward of the lateral commissure. Numerous cranial and postcranial elements that probably belong to the same new species are also described. This new species is the oldest Lates known from Africa.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2