Biologists have discovered two new species of gobies in the Philippines


Researchers from Japan’s Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Western Philippines University (WPU) have discovered two new species of gobies in Palawan, an archipelago in the Philippines that is home to more than a dozen gobies. species of gobies.

The two newly discovered goby species belong to the genus Rhinogobius and were recently described in the journal Zootaxa.

The new species were given the Latin scientific name Rhinogobius estrellae, named after the Estrella Falls waterfall in the village of Barangay Estrella, where the goby was discovered.

Rhinogobius tandikan is the scientific name given to the Palawan peacock-pheasant, colloquially known as “Tandikan”, which inspired the name of the second species.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Discovery of two new species of gobies

The first author of the study and scientist from OIST’s Marine Eco-Evo-Devo unit, Dr. Ken Maeda, said the Tandikan goby’s spots reminded him of the blue markings on the Tandikan’s body.

This collaboration between OIST and WPU has led to the discovery of the third and fourth new goby species in Palawan, after Stiphodon palawanensis and Lentipes palawanirufus, discovered last year.

The fact that Rhinogobius can be found as far south as Palawan reveals that the range of this genus of goby is significantly larger than previously thought.

“We were very surprised the first time we saw Rhinogobius estrallae and then really excited when we found the second species,” Dr Maeda said. “The habitat of Rhinogobius is generally located in temperate and subtropical regions farther north than Palawan, in places like Vietnam, China, Japan, and even the Russian Far East. Finding gobies of this genus in Palawan was very unexpected.”

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Understanding the mitochondrial DNA of new species

The researchers also examined the mitochondrial DNA of both species and found that they belonged to an ancient branch of the genus Rhinogobius.

In the past, only Rhinogobius similis, a goby with a similar evolutionary lineage, was known. There are morphological traits unique to this lineage shared by all three species.

Compared to the widely distributed Rhinogobius similis, which is found from Japan to Vietnam, the two newly discovered species appear endemic, meaning they can only be found in one location, even on the island of Palawan. , according to

In order to protect these two newly discovered species, scientists urged that extra precautions be taken to conserve their habitats.


(Photo: Harrison Haines)

About goby fish

The majority of gobies are found around the coasts of tropical and temperate countries. Many fish are found in the oceans, but others live in freshwater and brackish water. Even the American continent has a population of gobies, which can be found in a wide range of locations.

Gobies are omnivorous carnivores, meaning they consume both plants and animals. They feed on fish pellets, artificial foods and live foods. Daphnia, live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and cyclops are among the most common foods they may be fed. Goby eating habits are quite amusing and they can reject food.

When it comes to keeping fish in a home aquarium, gobies are some of the toughest. In order for these species to reproduce effectively, they usually require certain adjustments in water parameters.

A tank with lots of caves or hiding places is ideal if trying to keep fish in an aquarium. A male goby should be kept with at least three females for best results.

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