New Hypseleotris described from Australia


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Australian goby expert Helen Larson has described a new species of carp gudgeon in the genus Hypseleotris.

The new species, named Hypseleotris barrawayi, is described in the most recent issue of the journal The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory.

Hypseleotris barrawayi is distinguished from other members of the genus in having a combination of: distinct dark vertical bars on the sides of the body, first and second dorsal fins banded with light and dark pigment, caudal fin plain or with several dusky bars or rows of spots, dark bar on the pectoral-fin base darkest dorsally and diffuse on the ventral part of the fin base, 26 vertebrae, preopercle with scales, postdorsal scale count usually 9, lateral scale count 30"34, and predorsal scales scattered along midline of nape and/or above opercle and preopercle, not reaching the eyes and often absent altogether.

The new species is known from the upper Katherine River drainage in Northern Territory, Australia and is named after Sandy Barraway, traditional owner of the Sleisbeck country (where this species is found).

Hypseleotris barrawayi prefers clear quiet water (pH ca. 7.3) with sheltered places such as near steep banks with overhanging vegetation or submerged roots.

Dense schools of small juveniles and young adults were observed in October and gravid females in August and October.

This species has also been bred in captivity, the author writing that he male clears a site on a flat surface in the tank (in this case the tank wall) and displays to the female.

She is enticed to about 10 cm from the egg site where the male continues a vigorous display swimming parallel to the female and nudging her towards the egg site.

At the egg site the female commences to lay while the male hovers parallel to her changing from side to side and quivering.

Egglaying takes about four hours. At the conclusion of laying the male drives the female from the eggs and remains in close vicinity of the egg patch vigorously fanning the clutch and defending a territory around them.

Egg patch size is about 20 mm diameter and contains about 180 eggs of about 0.3 mm diameter

Practical Fishkeeping was unable to obtain an image of the species.

For more information, see the paper: Larson, HK (2007) A new species of carp gudgeon, Hypseleotris (Pisces: Gobioidei: Eleotridae), from the Katherine River system, Northern Territory. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 23, pp. 111"118.