Ichthyological Research

, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 433–453 | Cite as

Review of the clingfish genus Kopua (Gobiesocidae: Trachelochisminae) in Japan, with description of a new species

  • Kyoji FujiwaraEmail author
  • Makoto Okamoto
  • Hiroyuki Motomura
Full Paper


A taxonomic review of the clingfish genus Kopua (Gobiesocidae: Trachelochisminae) in Japan recognizes three species: K. japonica Moore, Hutchins and Okamoto 2012, K. vermiculata Shinohara and Katayama 2015 and K. yoko sp. nov. Kopua japonica and K. vermiculata are redescribed with revised diagnoses on the basis of 20 specimens (10.4–30.4 mm standard length; SL) and the holotype, respectively. Kopua japonica is similar to K. vermiculata in head sensory pore characters (normally single nasal and postocular canal pores). However, the former differs distinctly from the latter as follows: 6–8 (modally 7) gill rakers (vs. 4 or 6); 31–33 (33) vertebrae (vs. 35); anus slightly closer to posterior margin of disc than to anal-fin origin (vs. much closer to posterior margin of disc); snout length 5.3–8.7 (mean 7.0) % SL (vs. 9.2 % SL); disc length 21.2–24.0 (22.8) % SL (vs. 18.8 % SL); pre-dorsal- and anal-fin lengths 72.9–78.4 (75.2) and 78.1–82.8 (80.1) % SL, respectively (vs. 67.5 and 73.6 % SL); and two stripes on cheek (vs. a triangular blotch). Kopua yoko sp. nov., based on 14 specimens (17.7–28.8 mm SL) from the Pacific coast of southern Japan, Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, is characterized by the following combination of characters: 6 or 7 (modally 6) dorsal-fin rays; 4–6 (5) anal-fin rays; 21 or 22 (21) pectoral-fin rays; 4–6 (5 or 6) gill rakers; 31–33 (31) vertebrae; a single (rarely two) nasal canal pores; two lacrimal and preopercular canal pores; snout length 6.5–7.9 (mean 7.1) % SL; gill opening depth 5.8–7.1 (6.5) % SL; least interorbital width 2.0–3.7 (2.6) % SL; disc length 20.3–25.0 (23.1) % SL, disc region D without flattened papillae; caudal-peduncle depth 8.1–10.2 (9.2) % SL; anus slightly closer to posterior margin of disc than to anal-fin origin; pre-dorsal- and anal-fin lengths 71.6–77.1 (73.9) and 77.0–83.7 (80.4) % SL, respectively; post-dorsal-caudal length 12.6–15.0 (13.8) % SL; arch-shaped blotches on lateral aspect of body; and two reddish-orange stripes on cheek. Morphological changes with growth in K. japonica and K. yoko sp. nov. are also described.


Kopua japonica Kopua vermiculata Kopua yoko Diagnosis Ontogenetic changes 



We are deeply grateful to H. Endo (BSKU), G. Shinohara (NSMT), M. Nakae (NSMT), K. Hoshino (SNFR), G. I. Moore (WAM) and K. Hagiwara (YCM) for providing opportunities to examine specimens; H. Senou (Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History, Japan) for his assistance in taking x-rays; Y. Kaji (WMNH) for providing information on specimens in WMNH; and H. Takahashi (National Fisheries University) for his assistance in taking photomicrographs. Y. Haraguchi (KAUM) and other volunteers and students of KAUM provided curatorial assistance, and G. S. 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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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of FisheriesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan
  2. 2.Marine Fisheries Research and Development Center (JAMARC) of Fisheries Research AgencyYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.The Kagoshima University MuseumKagoshimaJapan

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