A labrid fish, Bellwoodilabrus landinii n. gen., n. sp., is described based on a single specimen collected from the Eocene locality of Monte Bolca, northern Italy. Bellwoodilabrus landinii n. gen., n. sp. is characterized by a prominent frontal relief, broad ethimoid-frontal depression, strongly developed supraoccipital crest, bar-like nasal, jaw teeth arranged in a single row, posterior preopercular margin apparently entire, rounded and molariform lower pharyngeal teeth, six branchiostegal rays, 24 (9 15) vertebrae, moderately reduced neural spine of the first vertebra, parhypurapophysis absent, XI 9 dorsal fin elements, III 9 anal fin elements and 12 pectoral-fin rays. The comparative analysis of morphological and meristic features reveals that Bellwoodilabrus landinii n. gen., n. sp. possesses a combination of plesiomorphic and derived features, which is unique within the Labridae. Bellwoodilabrus landinii n. gen., n. sp. represents the third valid species of the family Labridae described up to now from Monte Bolca. The morphofunctional analysis of the cranial and appendicular skeleton suggests that Bellwoodilabrus landinii n. gen., n. sp. was a benthic invertebrate feeder that inhabited the deep and calm settings along the northern coasts of the central Tethys. The evolutionary significance of the Eocene labrids from Monte Bolca is also discussed.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2