A new species of the blind goby Caecogobius (Gobioidei, Gobiidae, Gobionellinae) from a cave system on Mindanao Island, the Philippines

Abstract

A new species of the eyeless goby genus Caecogobius is described from a cave system on Mindanao Island, the Philippines. Caecogobius personatus sp. nov. is the second cave-obligate fish ever discovered from the Philippine archipelago. The first species, Caecogobius cryptophthalmus Berti and Ercolini 1991 was recorded from Samar Island, an adjacent island north of Mindanao. The new species differs from its only congener, C. cryptophthalmus, in having a finely ridged fleshy area over the orbit and fleshy flap-like sensory papillae on fleshy raised ridges (the sensory papillae in C. cryptophthalmus are all small and evenly sized, not fleshy or flap-like) and having all elements of the second dorsal fin segmented (first element unsegmented in C. cryptophthalmus). The relationship of these two Caecogobius to each other and to other gobionellines is not known.

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Photograph by Heok Hui Tan

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Acknowledgments

We offer our many thanks to Heok Hui Tan of ZRC, who facilitated the loan of the specimens and provided beautiful X-rays of them. Thanks also are due to Gavin Dally of MAGNT, who made sure the fish arrived safely. We also appreciate the assistance of Marivene Manuel-Santos of the Philippine National Museum for facilitating the storage of the specimens. D. E. M. Husana would like to express his great appreciation to his friends in Mindanao. There are no exact words to describe how thankful he is for their hospitality, generosity and field assistance during his many research trips to the region: the Honorable Mayor Albin Magdamit and his staff, especially Noradel Martinez and Marigyn Kamita who showed their eagerness to protect the natural environment in their town; the PMC outdoor group, especially Arnel Pasilan, Almar Lambaco, Joelito Dumdum, Winsome Berdida and Joseph Mortiz and all the other members for their assistance in D. E. M. Husana’s many biological expeditions in the region; and the barangay chairman, Benecio Manliguez, for providing security and a local guide. This research is permitted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Wildlife Gratuitous Permit No. R13-2014-004).

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Correspondence to Helen K. Larson.

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This article was registered in the Official Register of Zoological Nomenclature (ZooBank) as 8EA76D50-374B-4838-808C-7947343C9735.

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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Larson, H.K., Husana, D.E.M. A new species of the blind goby Caecogobius (Gobioidei, Gobiidae, Gobionellinae) from a cave system on Mindanao Island, the Philippines. Ichthyol Res 66, 97–103 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-018-0659-y

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Keywords

  • Gobiidae
  • Caecogobius
  • New species
  • Cave systems
  • Philippines