An undescribed species of the frogfish genus Histiophryne, of the teleost order Lophiiformes, family Antennariidae, is described on the basis of 60 specimens collected from shallow inshore waters of Western and South Australia. Previously confused with its morphologically similar congener H. cryptacanthus, it differs from the latter and from all other members of the genus in having the following combination of features: illicium tiny but easily discernible without aid of a microscope; esca present, a small tuft of filaments, easily distinguished from illicium; skin covered with tiny dermal spinules, especially on head, cutaneous filaments and appendages absent; dorsal-fin rays 15–16; pectoral-fin rays 9 (rarely 8); vertebrae 22–23; head, body, and fins typically off white, sometimes peppered with numerous small, close-set ocelli. Genetic divergence from its congeners in the nuclear recombination activation gene-2 (RAG2) and cytochrome oxidase-I (COI) genes is at least 8.9%. The new species is diagnosed, described, and compared with its congeners. A revised key to the species of the genus is also provided.
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Vol. 106 • No. 4