Pseudojuloides pluto, new species, is described on the basis of the holotype and 11 paratypes from Wake Island, northeastern Micronesia, and nine paratypes from the Maug Islands, Northern Mariana Islands. The new species has previously been confused with Pseudojuloides atavai, but molecular analysis of mitochondrial COI reveals a difference of 6.8% in sequence data between both species, in addition to differences in meristic, morphometric, and coloration details. A second new species, Pseudojuloides proserpina, is described from Fatu Hiva, Marquesan Islands on the basis of the male holotype. The two new species are closely allied to Pseudojuloides atavai, and together form a species complex that differs from other members of the genus in having males that share the following combination of characters: interspinous membrane between the anterior two to three spines of the dorsal fin with a black spot; head extensively reticulate (reduced in P. pluto, new species); dorsal-fin base with a pink stripe; abdominal region behind pectoral and pelvic fins pale lilac to orangey pink (width of this region dependent on species) with a crosshatch or honeycomb pattern; and extensive black coloration over at least posterior half of body. Additionally, females of both P. atavai and P. pluto, new species, are distinctly bicolored (versus unicolored and suffused in all other congeneric species). Although the female form of P. proserpina, new species, is not known, it is likely that it shares this general coloration pattern, which may serve as an additional character uniting members of the Pseudojuloides atavai complex. We briefly discuss the phylogenetic relationships of Pseudojuloides inferred on the basis of mitochondrial DNA.
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Vol. 108 • No. 3