New shrimpgoby described

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Scientists have described a new species of shrimpgoby from Indonesian island of Flores.

The new species, named Tomiyamichthys tanyspilus, is described by John Randall and I-Shiung Chen in the most recent issue of the journal Zoological Studies.

Tomiyamichthys tanyspilus is distinguished from other members of the genus except T. fourmanoiri, T. latruncularius, and T. smithi in having 12 dorsal and anal soft fin-rays.

It is distinguished from the remaining three species in having a combination of lacking a preopercular sensory canal, a high longitudinal scale count of 78"80, and a strongly lanceolate caudal fin.

The species name comes from the Greek tany, meaning long and spilus, meaning spot, in reference the elongate shape of the 5 midlateral dark brown spots on the body.

Although the new species is only known from Maumere Bay, Flores, the authors expect it to be found in silty sand habitats elsewhere in Indonesia.

There are nine species of Tomiyamichthys; these gobies live symbiotically with shrimps of the genus Alpheus.

The shrimp excavates and maintains the burrow, while the goby serves as the sentinel, sheltering in the burrow when needed.

For more information, see the paper: Randall, JE and I-S Chen (2007) Tomiyamichthys tanyspilus, a new species of gobiid fish from Indonesia. Zoological Studies 46, pp. 651"655.