Another Eviota Goby Species is Scientifically Described

23 Jan, 2021

The anesthetized holotype of Eviota angustifascia, a 10.6 mm male from Tavunasici, in the Lau Islands group of Fiji. Image credit: Mark V. Erdmann

With the new description of Eviota angustifascia, the official tally of newly described Eviota dwarfgobies comes to 123 species , as reported by authors David W. Greenfield and Mark V. Edrmann in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

The species name of the fish is derived from the five narrow, vertical bands that contrast with a range of different body colors. (“Etymology. The specific epithet is from the Latin angustus, meaning narrow and the Latin fascia meaning band, referring to the narrow, white, vertical lines.”)

A brilliant red individual, collected at Cherie’s Reef, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea. Image credit: Mark V. Erdmann

This previously undescribed species sports a somewhat variable base coloration, ranging from yellowish-orange to vibrant carmine-red, the authors generalizing the base coloration as “coppery”. The bodies and fins are traversed by five thin, vertical, white bands, and their faces are spotted with the same base coloration as seen on their flanks and unpaired fins, the caudal fin being mainly clear. Dark black spots are found at the anterior base of both the first and second dorsal fin.

A decidedly yellow-orange specimen from Mapia Atoll Channel pass, northeast Papua, Indonesia. Image credit: Mark V. Erdmann.

The authors note that the species was in scientific collections for a while, initially identified as being similar to Eviota jewettae. The description notes that further collections of specimens by Mark V. Erdmann since 2012 made it possible to properly diagnose and describe the new species.

Somewhere between the yellowish and reddish extremes, this specimen of Eviota angustifascia is from Ka Point, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, Image credit: Mark V. Erdmann

This is truly a micro-fish. The specimens utilized in the description range from only 9.1 to 11.9 mm, standard length. The type specimen (holotype) was collected in the Lua Island group of Fiji. The species is also known from the island of New Guinea, encountered in both Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian portions of the island, along the northern coast of the landmass. Most specimens were found at depths ranging from 50-65 meters (164 to 213 feet), although one specimen was collected at only 15 meters (49 feet) on Cherie’s Reef, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.

The authors describe the habitat of E. angustifascia as “deep crevices on steep outer-reef slopes or walls exposed to current and clear oceanic waters.” Averaging around a centimeter in length, usually residing in deeper waters, and concealing itself deep within the reef structure, it is hardly a surprise that this fish took so long to be discovered and properly cataloged by science.

You can read the full species description in the open-access article from the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.

Reference

Greenfield D.W. & Erdmann, M.V. (2020) Eviota angustifascia, a new dwarfgoby from Fiji and New Guinea (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 36, 31–37. doi: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4329865

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About the author

Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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