Knight gobies reshuffled


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The gobies in the Knight goby genus Stigmatogobius have been reshuffled in a systematic revision.

Helen Larson of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Australia revised the gobiid genus Stigmatogobius and has just announced her findings in a paper in the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

Larson's study looked at the 18 species believed to be members of this fish family, which occurs in both fresh and brackish water, and found that just four species had the necessary characters required to keep their taxonomic position in the Stigmatogobius genus.

The four species that Larson says should remain valid Stigmatogobius species are S. borneensis, S. pleurostigma, S. sella and the Knight goby, S. sadanundio. Larson says that the Knight goby name, S. sadanundio, has been used as a catch-all term for a variety of misidentified species.

Larson believes that the Stigmatogobius are members of the Gobionellinae subfamily with the Gobiidae family and are characterised by: "a distinctive transverse pattern of infraorbital sensory papillae, a reduced headpore pattern which lacks an infraorbital pore and posterior oculoscaupular canal, the first haemal spine curving around the second anal pterygiophore in several species, 17 segmented caudal fin rays and by having one more anal fin ray than in the second dorsal fin."

Some of the other representatives previously considered to be Stigmatogobius have been moved into related genera including Redigobius, Mugilogobius, Eugnathogobius and Pseudogobius, and two new species have been described in the paper.

For more information see the paper: Larson, H. (2005) - A revision of the gobiid genus Stigmatogobius (Teleostei: Gobiidae) with descriptions of two new species. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 347-370.