Kopua minima (Döderlein 1887), a senior synonym of K. japonica Moore, Hutchins and Okamoto 2012, and description of a new species of Aspasma (Gobiesocidae)


Examination of the syntypes of Lepadogaster minimus Döderlein in Steindachner and Döderlein 1887 showed that species to be identical with Kopua japonica Moore, Hutchins and Okamoto 2012, although long been regarded as a valid species of Aspasma. A lectotype is designated for L. minimus (= Kopua minima), which is regarded as a senior synonym of K. japonica. A species commonly regarded as Aspasma minima is described as the new species Aspasma ubauo sp. nov., on the basis of 58 specimens from the Japanese mainland, and characterized by the following characters: 5–7 dorsal-fin rays; 6–8 anal-fin rays; 19–22 pectoral-fin rays; 4–6 gill rakers on each arch; head small, moderately depressed (dorsal profile flattened), its length 25.2–34.4% SL; mouth terminal; snout slightly pointed in lateral view; no subopercular spines; dorsal and anal fins well separated from caudal fin; single row (except anteriorly on premaxilla) of rectangular incisors in each jaw, lacking posteriorly hooked tips; large circular gap absent between anterior parts of premaxilla in dorsal view; disc size moderate, its length 15.8–20.6% SL; disc region D and anterior central portion of disc region A without flattened papillae; head sensory canal pores well developed, including 2 nasal, lacrimal and postorbital, and 3 preopercular pores; body without elongated spots or stripes. Morphological changes with growth and sexual dimorphism of the new species are also described.

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We are deeply grateful to H. Endo (BSKU), D. Catania, and M. Hoang (CAS), M. Miya and T. Sado (CBM), N. Nakayama (formerly FAKU), S. Tomiyama and F. Noguchi (MSM), K. Sakai (NMCI), E. Mikschi, H. Wellendorf, B. Riedel, and N. Bogutskaya (NMW), G. Shinohara and M. Nakae (NSMT), K. Shibukawa (SPMN), T. Iwata (TOYA), J. Williams, S. Raredon, K. Murphy, and D. Pitassy (USNM), and K. Hagiwara (YCM) for providing opportunities to examine specimens; K. Uchino (KPM) for providing underwater photographs; U. Yamakawa (Tsukuba University) and S. Morioka (Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology) for providing valuable comments; H. Wada (KAUM) for examination of type specimens at CAS and USNM; K. Wibowo (KAUM) for reading an early draft; S. Morishita (KAUM) for help with photographs; and Y. Haraguchi (KAUM), and other volunteers and students of KAUM for curatorial assistance. G. Hardy (Ngunguru, New Zealand) read the manuscript and provided help with English. We thank K. W. Conway (Texas A&M University) for reviewing the manuscript. This study was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP19770067, JP26241027, JP24370041, JP23580259, and JP26450265; the JSPS Core-to-Core Program: B Asia-Africa Science Platforms; the “Biological Properties of Biodiversity Hotspots in Japan” project of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba, Japan; “Establishment of Research and Education Network on Biodiversity and Its Conservation in the Satsunan Islands” project of Kagoshima University adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan; and the “Island Research” project of Kagoshima University.

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Fujiwara, K., Motomura, H. Kopua minima (Döderlein 1887), a senior synonym of K. japonica Moore, Hutchins and Okamoto 2012, and description of a new species of Aspasma (Gobiesocidae). Ichthyol Res 67, 50–67 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10228-019-00701-0

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  • Clingfish
  • Trachelochisminae
  • Aspasminae
  • Aspasma ubauo
  • Sexual dimorphism
  • Japan