Systematic review and cranial osteology of Petersius with redescription of P. conserialis (Teleostei: Alestidae) from the Rufiji and Ruvu rivers of Tanzania (American Museum novitates, no. 3992)

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American Museum of Natural History.
We review the systematics of the monotypic alestid genus Petersius and provide a taxonomic redescription of P. conserialis from eastern Tanzania. Morphological investigation includes direct observation and examination of radiographed and μCT-scanned data from type and non-type specimens. We delimit the taxon’s geographic distribution along the lowland regions of the Rufiji and Ruvu river basins in Tanzania and provide information on ecology, sexual dimorphism, and ontogenetic variation. Petersius is herein diagnosed by the possession of a unique cuspidation patterning of the inner-row premaxillary dentition and a distinctively shaped anterodorsal margin of the supraoccipital crest. It shares with some species of Phenacogrammusa sigmoid-shaped process on the dorsal margin of the second infraorbital, a feature lacking in other alestid taxa. Additional features of potential utility for ongoing investigation of relationships among alestid genera include the possession of contralateral premaxillae separated by the anteromedial process of the mesethmoid and without interdigitations connecting the medial surfaces of the premaxillae; four, occasionally five or six, small outer-row premaxillary teeth implanted alternately with those of the inner row; a dentary lacking a pair of conical inner-row teeth proximal to the symphysis; a dorsal posttemporal fossa that is smaller than the ventral fossa; a median third posttemporal fossa located entirely within the epioccipital; a truncate dorsomedial cranial fontanel; and a complete circumorbital series forming an uninterrupted ring around the orbit in adult specimens.
16 pages : illustrations (some color), color map ; 26 cm
Characiformes -- Classification., Characiformes -- Tanzania -- Rufiji River., Characiformes -- Tanzania -- Ruvu River (Morogoro Region and Pwani Region), Skull -- Anatomy., Fishes -- Tanzania -- Rufiji River., Fishes -- Tanzania -- Ruvu River (Morogoro Region and Pwani Region)