A Definitive (and FREE) Species Guide to 107 Eviota Gobies

10 Jan, 2017

Identifying Eviota Gobies just got a whole lot easier! How many of these can you ID? Download the key and see how many you got right! Image credits (and species IDs) at the end (so if you're playing, no peeking). CC-BY-4.0

Identifying Eviota Gobies just got a whole lot easier! How many of these can you ID? Download the key and see how many you got right! Image credits (and species IDs) at the end (so if you’re playing, no peeking). CC-BY-4.0

With interest in nano and even pico reef aquariums booming, marine enthusiasts have a growing appreciation for species that were previously overlooked or considered too tiny to catch the interest of saltwater aquarists or divers.

All that is changing, and in late December 2016, David W. Greenfield and Richard Winterbottom published a comprehensive look at 107 of the 111 described species of gobies from the genus Eviota in volume 24 of the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

This unparalleled look at some of the smallest species of nano gobies we keep in marine aquaria is a treasure trove of species depictions. Over 100 species are shown, most of them including good examples of live coloration (not simply preserved holotype photos, although many are shown and remarkable in their own right).

Eviota masudai holotype, collected off the coast of Japan. Photo by M. Aizawa. CC-BY-4.0

Eviota masudai holotype, collected off the coast of Japan. Photo by M. Aizawa. CC-BY-4.0

Amazingly, this wealth of information a species images was published as an open access journal article, which means it’s freely available to view and download online. This is exactly the type of publication that MASNA’s new Dr. Junda Lin Memorial Fund for Publishing Open Access Marine Aquarium Research aims to support.

Eviota atriventris, male holotype collected in Palau. Photo by Richard Winterbottom. CC-BY-4.0

Eviota atriventris, male holotype collected in Palau. Photo by Richard Winterbottom. CC-BY-4.0

This guide to the Eviota Dwarfgobies is more than just a species identification key; ranges are also given for each species. So while it’s a great bit of eye candy for the nano goby enthusiast, this publication could also be an extremely valuable tool for marine fish importers who are having a hard time identifying the small, unidentified Eviota gobies they receive. Between using the ID key and knowing where a fish was collected, the odds are much improved for making a proper species identification.

Eviota flebelis holotype from Japan. Note: don't think every specimen will look like this; check out the full article to see how variable all the Eviotas can be depending on photographic conditions. Photo by Koichi Shibukawa. CC-BY-4.0

Eviota flebelis holotype from Japan. Note: don’t think every specimen will look like this; check out the full article to see how variable all the Eviotas can be depending on photographic conditions. Photo by Koichi Shibukawa. CC-BY-4.0

Only four Eviota species didn’t make the guide, as they were too recently described. They include:

  • Eyre’s Dwarfgoby, Eviota eyreae, Greenfield & Randall, 2016, from Vatu-i-ra Island, Fiji
  • Erdmann’s Dwarfgoby, Eviota erdmanni, Tornabene & Greenfield, 2016, from the Savu Sea, South Flores, Indonesia
  • Sodwana Dwarfgoby, Eviota sodwanaensis, Greenfield & Winterbottom, 2016, from Sodwana Bay south to Aliwal Shoal, Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa
  • Crescent Dwarfgoby, Eviota bilunula, Greenfield & Suzuki, 2016, from Fiji
The holotype of Eviota shibukawai, from Japan. Image by Toshiyuki Suzuki. CC-BY-4.0

The holotype of Eviota shibukawai, from Japan. Image by Toshiyuki Suzuki. CC-BY-4.0

 

It’s clear that a document of this scope takes tremendous time, tedious review, and an incredible spirit of collaboration. I must applaud this effort, and we’re especially lucky to have it published in open-access form.

Don’t delay! Add this to your digital library for FREE today! Download Greenfield & Winterbottom’s Guide to Eviota goby species here: https://zenodo.org/record/219620/files/josf24d.pdf

References:

Greenfield, D.W. & Winterbottom, R. (2016) A key to the dwarfgoby species (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota) described between 1871 and 2016. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 24, 35–90.

(locally mirrored PDF copy: if the above link doesn’t work, download here)

The genus Eviota on Fishbase

Appendices:

Species IDs and Photo Credits for Opening Compiled Image:

  1. Eviota mikiae, Richard Winterbottom
  2. E. saipanensis, Bob Chang
  3. E. brahmi, John E. Randall
  4. E. dorsopurpurea, John E. Randall
  5. E. raja, Gerald R. Allen
  6. E. punyit, Mark V. Erdmann
  7. E. bimaculata, Rudie H. Kuiter
  8. E. bifasciata, Richard Winterbottom
  9. E. melanosphena, A. González-Cabello
  10. E. geminata, Sergey V. Bogorodsky
  11. E. prasina, Richard Winterbottom
  12. E. santanai, Mark V. Erdmann
  13. E. pamae, Gerald R. Allen

Species Included in the Guide:

Eviota abax, Eviota afelei, Eviota albolineata, Eviota algida, Eviota ancora, Eviota aquila, Eviota asymbasia, Eviota atriventris, Eviota bifasciata, Eviota bilunula*, Eviota bimaculata, Eviota bipunctata, Eviota brahmi, Eviota cometa, Eviota deminuta, Eviota disrupta, Eviota distigma, Eviota dorsimaculata, Eviota dorsogilva, Eviota dorsopurpurea, Eviota epiphanes, Eviota epistigmata, Eviota erdmanni*, Eviota eyreae*, Eviota fallax, Eviota fasciola, Eviota filamentosa, Eviota flavipinnata, Eviota flebilis, Eviota geminata, Eviota guttata, Eviota herrei, Eviota hinanoae, Eviota hoesei, Eviota indica, Eviota infulata, Eviota inutilis, Eviota irrasa, Eviota kermadecensis, Eviota korechika, Eviota lachdeberei, Eviota lacrimae, Eviota lacrimosa, Eviota lateritea, Eviota latifasciata, Eviota maculibotella, Eviota masudai, Eviota melanosphena, Eviota melasma, Eviota mikiae, Eviota mimica, Eviota minuta, Eviota monostigma, Eviota natalis, Eviota nebulosa, Eviota nigramembrana, Eviota nigripinna, Eviota cf. nigripinna, Eviota nigrispina, Eviota nigriventris, Eviota notata, Eviota occasa, Eviota ocellifer, Eviota oculopiperita, Eviota pamae, Eviota pardalota, Eviota partimacula, Eviota pellucida, Eviota pinocchioi, Eviota piperata, Eviota prasina, Eviota prasites, Eviota pseudostigma, Eviota randalli, Eviota raja, Eviota readerae, Eviota richardi, Eviota rubra, Eviota rubriceps, Eviota rubrimaculata, Eviota rubriguttata, Eviota rubrisparsa, Eviota saipanensis, Eviota santanai, Eviota sebreei, Eviota shibukawai, Eviota shimadai, Eviota singula, Eviota sigillata, Eviota smaragdus, Eviota sodwanaensis*, Eviota sparsa, Eviota specca, Eviota cf. specca, Eviota spilota, Eviota springeri, Eviota storthynx, Eviota susanae, Eviota teresae, Eviota tetha, Eviota thamani, Eviota tigrina, Eviota toshiyuki, Eviota variola, Eviota winterbottomi, Eviota zebrina, Eviota zonura

*denotes species published after the identification key was created, and thus are not included in the key itself.

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About the author

Matt Pedersen
Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC, including AMAZONAS & CORAL Magazines. Matt has kept aquariums for 34 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized as the 2009 MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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