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A mysterious freshwater goby finally gets a name

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jun 01, 2017 09:00 AM
Circa 2001, a new, unidentified orange-spotted freshwater goby entered the aquarium trade starting in Europe. Nearly two decades later, it is finally formally described as a new species: Pseudogobiopsis lumbantobing.
A mysterious freshwater goby finally gets a name

Captive specimen of Pseudogobiopsis lumbantobing, supposedly imported from Myanmar (unconfirmed distribution). Photograph by Christophe Maillet

Around 2001, an unique tropical goby entered the European aquarium market.  Several aquarists were so intrigued by the mysterious fish that they provided photos to researchers for identification.  The ichthyologist were stumped, but no specimens were available for  study so the goby remained a mystery until 2012, when Daniel Lumbantobing, a ichthyology phD candidate at the time, collected several Indonesian gobies including the unidentified Pseudogobiopsis.

In 2015, a DAN barcoding project was able to collect additional specimens of the new species in the rivers of western Java and southern Sumatra.  Their study concluded the mystery goby was likely an undescribed species.  Now, after further examination of new material, researchers have finally identified this goby as a new species: Pseudogobiopsis lumbantobing.  The new gobiid, named after Daniel, is decribed in Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

Type locality for  Pseudogobiopsis lumbantobing.  Photo by Nicolas Hubert
Type locality for Pseudogobiopsis lumbantobing. Photo by Nicolas Hubert

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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