Very special thanks for the first photos of Oxycheilinus samurai to Yoshino Fukui, PhD student in Professor Motomura Hiroshi's laboratory in the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences.
The Master student Yoshino Fukui has has discovered and named the new species of wrasse from the genus Oxicheilinus after collecting five specimens from the
Philippines and Ryukyu Is.
She named the new species Oxycheilinus samurai, because the pale-coloured pattern on the back of the heads of adult fish resembles the sasayaki hairstyle favoured by Edo period samurai, in honor of the warrior caste of 11th- to 19th-century Japan, specifically their expertise in martial arts.
Elongate red body, slightly compressed anteriorly; Whitish lower jaw; Small elongated yellow pupil with green edge; A large deep green smudge anterodorsally on body from nape to middle of dorsal-fin base; A bluish-green blotch on basal membrane between first and second dorsal-fin spines; Posterior margin of caudal fin white.
"The specific name of this species "samurai" means a Japanease samurai warrior. When you spell it short as "O.samurai", this means a polite form, like "Mr. samurai".
Similar species: Oxycheilinus orientalis (Günther, 1862)