New species - Ecsenius caeruliventris and E. shirleyae

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Ichthyologists have described two new species of marine blenny from Indonesia and have made some new discoveries on the distributions of Ecsenius species.

Victor Springer of the Department of Zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Washington and Gerald Allen of Western Australian Museum described the two new species of bleniid as Ecsenius caeruliventris and E. shirleyae in the Christmas Eve issue of the systematics journal Zootaxa.

Ecsenius caeruliventris comes from the Banggai and Togean islands in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in a similar area to the Emperor cardinal, Pterapogon kauderni.

Ecenius shirleyae is known from a series of tiny islands in Indonesia between 106-02 E and 05-08S.

Springer and Allen say that both of the new species of Ecsenius are members of the prooculis species group, which now includes eight different blenny species.

With the current figure standing at 53 species, the Escenius genus has more species than any other blenniid genus. Meiacanthus, the next most speciose, only has half as many representatives.

For more details on the species, see the paper: Springer, VG and GR Allen (2004) - Ecsenius caeruliventris and E. shirleyae, two new species of blenniid fishes from Indonesia, and new distribution records for other species of Ecsenius. Zootaxa 791: 1-12 (24 December 2004).