A redescription of the gobiid fish Taenioides purpurascens (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae) with comments on, and a key to, species in the genus


The Indo-West Pacific gobiid genus Taenioides Lacépède is further defined and one of the constituent species of the genus, T. purpurascens (De Vis 1884), is redescribed. Taenioides purpurascens is known only from the southeast coast of Australia and is compared to other species in the genus: T. anguillaris, distributed from India northeastward to China, and Japan, and southward to Australia; T. gracilis, distributed along the east coast of Africa and Madagascar to India, northeastward to Japan and southward to Australia; T. kentalleni, known only from Saudi Arabia and Japan; and T. snyderi, known only from southern Japan. Taenioides purpurascens is unique within the genus in having: the fewest dorsal-fin elements (41‒44 vs. 48‒72); the fewest anal-fin elements (34‒38 vs. 41‒65); the fewest vertebrae (27 vs. 28‒45); and a 2-4-2 arrangement of the barbels on the ventral surface of the head (vs. 2-2-2, 2-3-2, or 2-4-2-2). In morphometric comparisons with these other species, T. purpurascens is shown to have the shortest and deepest body. A key to these species is provided.

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I greatly appreciated the hospitality extended to me by Mark McGrouther when I visited AMS in 2004 to examine material used for this and other amblyopine studies. Amanda Hay (AMS) provided images and permission for the use of Figs. 1 and 4. Richard Vari (NMNH, deceased) generously provided space for me to work on this project and facilitated loans of specimens. My special thanks go to Sandra J. Raredon (NMNH) who expertly radiographed specimens used in this study and made digital images of the specimens illustrated herein. Numerous other individuals aided this study in the loan and exchange of specimens, or in other diverse ways; for their contributions, I am grateful to: David Catania (CAS); Mats Eriksson (ZIU); Carl J. Ferraris, Jr., Sven O. Kullander (NRM); Helen K. Larson (MAGNT); Patrice Pruvost (MNHN); and Kris Murphy, Lisa Palmer, Lynne Parenti, and Shirleen Smith (USNM).

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Correspondence to Edward O. Murdy.

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This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as EA467069-4D45-458E-BD49-189D91DD5FFC.

This article was published as an Online First article on the online publication date shown on this page. The article should be cited by using the doi number.

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Murdy, E.O. A redescription of the gobiid fish Taenioides purpurascens (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae) with comments on, and a key to, species in the genus. Ichthyol Res 65, 454–461 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-018-0635-6

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  • Taenioides
  • Amblyopinae
  • Gobiidae
  • Taxonomic redescription
  • Key to species