Trimma goby discovered on Palau reef

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A tiny new goby has been described from a coral reef in Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean.

Trimma hotsarihiensis, which reaches just 14mm in length, was discovered on Helen Reef on the South West Islands of Palau, which lie about 500 miles east of the Philippines.

Richard Winterbottom, the ichthyologist who described the species, said that live specimens are yellow with yellow spots on the tail. They also have "a black basal stripe in the dorsal and anal fins bordered distally by an approximately equalwidth yellow stripe in the dorsal fins and rest of anal fin yellow, a short, diffuse, irregular dark stripe extending posteriorly from immediately above the opercle, and a dark, pupilwidth, internal band extending along the midline from the occipital region, tapering out at the end of the caudal peduncle."

The species can be told apart from other members of the Trimma genus by the following characters: "absence of scales in the predorsal midline, no cheek or opercular scales, a broad U-shaped interorbital trough and a slit-like postorbital trench, a fleshy ridge, the dermal crest, in the dorsal midline extending from the first spine of the dorsal fin and decreasing in height anteriorly, reaching to a vertical above the vertical limb of the preopercle, no elongate dorsal spines, usually 9 dorsal-fin rays, 17 pectoral-fin rays with 6-12 of the inner rays branched, and an unbranched fifth pelvic-fin ray."

For more details see the paper: Winterbottom, R (2009) - A new species of the genus Trimma (Percomorpha; Gobiidae) from Helen Reef, South-West Islands of Palau, pp. 109-116