• GIORGIO CARNEVALE Università degli Studi di Torino
  • JAMES TYLER National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20052, USA




Angiolinia mirabilis n. gen. et sp.; Acanthuroidei; Pesciara site; Ypresian; phylogenetic relationships.


The acanthuriform family Zanclidae, whose members are commonly known as moorish idols, has until now been comprised of two species, the extant Zanclus cornutus and the Eocene Eozanclus brevirostris. Herein, a new moorish idol, Angiolinia mirabilis n. gen. et sp., is described based on three specimens from the Eocene Pesciara site of the Bolca locality, northern Italy.

Morphologically, Angiolinia mirabilis n. gen. et sp. appears to be intermediate between Eozanclus brevirostris and Zanclus cornutus and differs from them by having the following features: body depth 85–87% SL; head length 38.3–39.2% SL; third dorsal-fin spine reaching about 50% SL; pectoral disc width 23.2% SL; dorsal fin containing 31 or 32 rays; anal fin containing 26 or 27 rays; pectoral fin with 11 or 12 moderately elongate rays and caudal fin truncate.

A comparative osteological analysis suggests that the family Zanclidae is defined by two morphological features, namely the presence of a broadly expanded and anteroventrally convex cleithrum forming the so-called pectoral disc together with the coracoid and having a large number of dorsal- and anal-fin rays. The Eocene acanthuriform Massalongius gazolai from Bolca represents the sister group to the Zanclidae. Within the zanclids, Eozanclus brevirostris represents the sister group to the pair formed by Angiolinia mirabilis n. gen. et sp. and Zanclus cornutus. This clade is supported by the shared possession of a single supernumerary spine on the first dorsal-fin pterygiophore, a single uroneural in the caudal skeleton, and all but the first two dorsal-fin spines distally filamentous.


Metrics Loading ...


Agassiz L. (1833-1844) - Recherches sur les poissons fossiles. Petitpierre, Neuchatel (four volumes, text and plates), 1420 pp.

Agassiz L. (1835) - Kritische revision der Ittiolitologia Veronese abgebildenten fossilen Fische. Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie und Petrefaktenkunde, 1835: 290- 316.

Bannikov A.F. (2014) - The systematic composition of the Eocene actinopterygian fish fauna from Monte Bolca, northern Italy, as known to date. Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 15: 23-34.

Bannikov A.F. & Carnevale G. (2010) - Bellwoodilabrus landinii, a new genus and species of labrid fish (Teleostei: Perciformes) from the Eocene of Monte Bolca. Geodiversitas, 32: 201-220.

Bannikov A.F. & Carnevale G. (2016) †Carlomonnius quasigobius gen. et sp. nov.: The first gobioid fish from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy. Bulletin of Geosciences, 91: 13-22.

Bellwood D.R. (1996) - The Eocene fishes of Monte Bolca: The earliest coral reef fish assemblage.Coral Reefs, 15: 11-19.

Bleeker P. (1876) - Systema Percarum revisum. Pars II. Archives Néerlandaises des Sciences Exactes et Naturelles, Haarlem, 11: 289-340.

Blot J. (1969) - Les poissons fossiles du Monte Bolca classes jusqu’ici dans les familles des Carangidae, Menidae, Ephippidae, Scatophagidae. Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 1: 1-525.

Blot J. (1980) - La faune ichthyologique des gisements du Monte Bolca (Province de Verone, Italie). Catalogue systematique prèsentant l’ètat actuel des 160 reserches concernant cette faune. Bulletin du Musèum national d’historie naturelle Paris, 2: 339-396.

Blot J. & Tyler J.C. (1990) - New genera and species of fossil surgeon fishes and their relatives (Acanthuroidei, Teleostei) from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy, with application of the Blot formula to both fossil and Recent forms. Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 6: 13-92.

Blot J. & Voruz C. (1970) - Les poissons fossiles du Monte Bolca. La famille des Zanclidae.Memorie del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Verona, 18: 31-42.

Blot J. & Voruz C. (1975) - La famille des Zanclidae. Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 2: 233-271.

Bosellini A. (1989) - Dynamics of Tethyan carbonate platform. In: Crevello P.D., Wilson J.L. & Read J.F. (Eds.) - Controls on Carbonate Platform and Basin Platform. SEPM Special Publications, 44: 3-13.

Carnevale G. (2006) - Morphology and biology of the Miocene butterflyfish Chaetodon ficheuri (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 146: 251-267.

Carnevale G., Bannikov A.F., Marramà G., Tyler J.C. & Zorzin R. (2014) - The Pesciara-Monte Postale Fossil-Lagerstätte, 2: Fishes and other vertebrates. Rendiconti della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 4: 37-63.

Carnevale G. & Pietsch T.W. (2009) - An Eocene frogfish from Monte Bolca, Italy: The earliest skeletal record for the family. Palaeontology, 52: 745-752.

Cuvier G. & Valenciennes A. (1831) - Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome septième. Livre septième: Des Squamipennes; Livre huitième: Des poissons à pharyngiens labryrinthiformes. P. Bertrand Editeur, Paris, 531 pp.

Friedman M. & Carnevale G. (2018) - The Bolca Lagerstätten: Shallow marine life in the Eocene. Journal of the Geological Society, 175: 569-579.

Gill A.C. & Leis J.M. (2019) - Phylogenetic position of the fish genera Lobotes, Datnioides and Hapalogenys, with a reappraisal of acanthuriform composition and relationships based on adult and larval morphology. Zootaxa, 4680: 1-81.

Holcroft N.I. & Wiley E.O. (2008) - Acanthuroid relationships revisited: A new nuclear gene-based analysis that incorporates tetraodontiform representatives. Ichthyological Research, 55: 274-283.

Johnson G.D. & Washington B.B. (1987) - Larvae of the moorish idol, Zanclus cornutus, including a comparison with other larval acanthuroids. Bulletin of Marine Science, 40: 494-511.

Jordan D.S. (1923) - A classification of fishes, including families and genera as far as known. Stanford University Publications, University Series, Biological Sciences, 3: 77-243.

Kuiter R.H. & Debelius H. (2001) - Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives: A Comprehensive Guide to Acanthuroidei. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, 208 pp.

Leis J.M. & Richards W.J. (1984) - Acanthuroidei: Development and relationships. In: Moser H.G., Richards W.J., Cohen D.M., Fahay M.P., Kendall Jr. A.W. & Richardson S.L. (Eds.) - Ontogeny and Systematics of Fishes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Special Publication, 1: 547-551.

Linnaeus C. (1758) - Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae, 824 pp.

Marramà G., Bannikov A.F., Tyler J.C., Zorzin R. & Carnevale G. (2016a) - Controlled excavations in the Pesciara and Monte Postale sites provide new insights about the paleoecology and taphonomy of the fish assemblages of the Eocene Bolca Konservat-Lagerstätte, Italy. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 454: 228-245.

Marramà G. & Carnevale G. (2015) - The Eocene sardine †Bolcaichthys catopygopterus (Woodward, 1901) from Monte Bolca, Italy: Osteology, taxonomy and paleobiology. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35: e1014490.

Marramà G., Garbelli C. & Carnevale G. (2016b) - A morphospace for the Eocene fish assemblage of Bolca, Italy: A window into the diversification and ecological rise to dominance of modern tropical marine fishes. Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 55: 11-21.

Marramà G., Garbelli C. & Carnevale G. (2016c) - A clade-level morphospace for the Eocene fishes of Bolca: Patterns and relationships with modern tropical marine fish assemblages. Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, 55: 139-156.

Marramà G., Giusberti L. & Carnevale G. (2022) - A Rupelian coral reef fish assemblage from the Venetian Southern Alps (Berici Hills, NE Italy). Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia, 128: 469-513.

Massalongo A. (1859) - Specimen photographicum animalium quorundam plantarumque fossilium Agri Veronensis. Vicentini-Franchini, Verona, 101 pp.

Mok H.-K. (1977) - Gut patterns of the Acanthuridae and Zanclidae. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology, 23: 215-219.

Papazzoni C., Fornaciari E., Giusberti L., Vescogni A. & Fornaciari B. (2017) - Integrating shallow benthic and calcareous nannofossil zones: The Lower Eocene of the Monte Postale section (Northern Italy). Palaios, 32: 1-12

Randall J.E. (1955) - Fishes of the Gilbert Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin, 47: 1-249.

Rossi V., Unitt R., McNamara M., Zorzin R. & Carnevale G. (2022) - Skin patterning and internal anatomy in a fossil moonfish from the Eocene Bolca Lagerstätte illuminate the ecology of ancient reef fish communities. Palaeontology, 65: e12600.

Sorenson L., Santini F., Carnevale G. & Alfaro M.E. (2013) - A multi-locus timetree of surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae, Percomorpha), with a revised taxonomy of the family. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 68: 150-160.

Strasburg D.W. (1962) - Pelagic stages of Zanclus canescens from Hawaii. Copeia, 1962: 844-845.

Tang K.L., Berendzen P.B., Wiley E.O., Morissey J.F., Winterbottom R. & Johnson G.D. (1999) - The phylogenetic relationships of the suborder Acanthuroidei (Teleostei: Perciformes) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 11: 415-425.

Tyler J.C. (1970) - Osteological aspects of interrelationships of surgeon fish genera (Acanthuridae). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 122: 87-124.

Tyler J.C. (2005a) - Redescription and basal phylogenetic placement of the acanthurid surgeon fish Gazolaichthys vestenanovae from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy (Perciformes; Acanthuroidea). Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 11: 97-117.

Tyler J.C. (2005b) - A new genus for the surgeon fish Acanthurus gaudryi De Zigno, 1887 from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy, a morphologically primitive basal taxon of Acanthuridae (Acanthuroidea, Perciformes). Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 11: 149- 163.

Tyler J.C. & Bannikov A.F. (2005) - Massalongius, gen. & fam. nov., a new clade of acanthuroid fishes (Perciformes, Acanthuroidea) from the Eocene of Monte Bolca, Italy, related to the Zanclidae. Studi e Ricerche sui Giacimenti Terziari di Bolca, 11: 75-95.

Tyler J.C., Johnson G.D., Nakamura I. & Collette B.B. (1989) - Morphology of Luvarus imperialis (Luvaridae), with a phylogenetic analysis of the Acanthuroidei (Pisces). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 485: 1-78.

Volta G.S. (1796) - Ittiolitologia Veronese del Museo Bozziano ora annesso a quello del Conte Giovambattista Gazola e di altri gabinetti fossili veronesi. Stamperia Giuliari, Verona, 323 pp.

Winterbottom R. (1993) - Myological evidence for the phylogeny of Recent genera of surgeonfishes (Percomorpha, Acanthuridae), with comments on the Acanthuroidei. Copeia, 1993: 21-39.

Winterbottom R. & McLennan D.A. (1993) - Cladogram versatility: Evolution and biogeography of acanthuroid fishes. Evolution, 47: 1557-1571.

Zigno A. De (1887) - Nuove aggiunte alla ittiofauna dell’epoca Eocena. Memorie dell’Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 23: 9-33.






Received 2023-11-25
Accepted 2024-01-30
Published 2024-02-08