Ichthyological Research

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 213–226 | Cite as

Taxonomic review of the genus Cottiusculus (Cottoidei: Cottidae) with description of a new species from the Sea of Japan

  • Yoshiaki KaiEmail author
  • Tetsuji Nakabo
Full Paper


A taxonomic review of the cottid genus Cottiusculus Jordan and Starks 1904 established three species, C. nihonkaiensis sp. nov., C. schmidti, and C. gonez. Cottiusculus nihonkaiensis sp. nov., which had been previously confused with C. schmidti, is described on the basis of 32 specimens (44.8–77.9 mm, SL) collected from the Sea of Japan. The new species is very similar to C. schmidti in having a curved barbless uppermost preopercular spine and the lateral line extending past the caudal fin base, but is distinguishable as follows: nasal spines simple or sometimes weakly bicuspid (vs. deeply bicuspid in C. schmidti); first dorsal fin not elongated in either males or females (vs. elongated in males); ventral lateral and lateral line cirri present (vs. absent). The former is known from the Sea of Japan coasts of Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula, and Volcano Bay, Hokkaido, and the latter from the Pacific coast of Tohoku District, Japan. Cottiusculus gonez, known from the Sea of Japan, Sea of Okhotsk and Pacific coast of Hokkaido, is characterized by having a simple nasal spine, the uppermost preopercular spine almost straight with two small cusps dorsally, posterior cusp barbed, and the lateral line almost reaching to the caudal fin base. A lectotype of C. gonez is designated here. Sequence differences in the cytochrome b gene among the above three species of Cottiusculus are also presented.


Cottiusculus nihonkaiensis New species Cottiusculus schmidti Cottiusculus gonez Lectotype 



We are greatly appreciative to D. Catania (CAS), and K. Matsuura and G. Shinohara (NSMT) for the loan of specimens. Our appreciation is also extended to G. D. Johnson and S. J. Raredon (USNM) for providing us with photographs of the holotype of Cottiusculus schmidti, and to R. Inagawa and M. Yabe (HUMZ), and W. N. Eschmeyer (CAS) for valuable discussions. We sincerely thank Y. Aonuma (Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute), H. Hirakawa (Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station), N. Hirakawa (Tokyo University of Marie Science and Technology), A. Yamasaki, T. Miyajima, K. Fujiwara (Kyoto Institute of Oceanic and Fisheries Science), and the crews of the R/V Tanshu-maru (Kasumi Fisheries High School) and R/V Heian-maru (Kyoto Institute of Oceanic and Fisheries Science) for help in collecting specimens. G. S. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) kindly reviewed the manuscript. This study was supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (20370034).


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maizuru Fisheries Research Station, Field Science Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityMaizuruJapan
  2. 2.The Kyoto University Museum, Kyoto UniversitySakyoJapan

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