Two new neon gobies named

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Scientists have described two new species of colourful neon goby from the Gulf of Mexico.

Michael Taylor and Lad Akins of Southeast Missouri State University and the Reef Environmental Education Foundation named the two new species Elacatinus jarocho and E. redimiculus in a paper in the latest issue of the journal Zootaxa.

Both species were discovered recently off the coast of Veracruz, on the south western Mexican coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Elacatinus jarocho has a disjunct yellow longitudinal stripe covering only the head and the base of the caudal fin. It also has a yellow medial stripe on the snout, and a black ovoid to rectangular spot on the base of the tail.

The species is a shoaling fish and was observed swimming in groups close to rock and coral reefs, where it is believed to feed upon zooplankton. Only one other member of the Elacatinus genus is known to feed in this manner.

The second species, Elacatinus redimiculus, has a row of orangey-red blotches and bands on its head and 13 orangey-red to dark brown stripes between the pectoral fins and the tail.

The Elacatinus genus is one of the largest goby genera of the neotropics with more than 21 other species, spanning two subgenera: Tigrigobius and Elacatinus.

The members of the Elacatinus genus are commonly known as neon gobies in the aquarium hobby.

Many of the species kept, such as Elacatinus oceanops, were former members of the Gobiosoma genus, but were moved to Elacatinus following a revision.

For more information see the paper: Taylor MS and Akins L (2007) - Two new species of Elacatinus (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the Mexican coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Zootaxa, 1425: 45-51 (2007).