Abstract

Three of four new jawfishes described herein have sexually dimorphic jaws and dichromatic maxillary markings: O. smithvanizi, with a simple nasal cirrus, buccal pigmentation and other traits similar to members of the O. macrognathus group, is known only from Isla del Caño, a continental shelf island off southern Costa Rica; O. fossoris, with a multifid nasal cirrus, a broad dorsal membranous subopercular flap and a black spot on tips of first dorsal-fin spines lives in the Gulf of California and is a sister-species of O. galapagensis; the maxilla of O. walkeri terminates in a flexible scimitar-shaped lamina in adults of both sexes, but is longer in males, the species lacks nasal cirri and is also restricted to the Gulf of California. Opistognathus brochus is a small species with dark speckling on head and body, and several dark blotches along the dorsal fin and two bars on the tail; it is found in moderately deep water on the Costa Rican coast and Gulf of California. Opistognathus mexicanus is placed in the synonymy of O. punctatus. Opistognathus galapagensis, O. rhomaleus and O. fenmutis are recorded for the first time from Costa Rica and a description of the latter is given and an identification key and summary table are provided for all known eastern Pacific species of Opistognathus
Keywords: new species, new records, jawfishes, costa rica, gulf of california, galapagos