Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea is proving to be quite the marine biodiversity hotspot as another species of goby has been found and described from there. Named Eviota amphipora, this fish is absolutely tiny with the type specimen measuring just 9.8mm/ 0.39”
It was discovered by prolific Ichthyologist Mark Erdmann while conducting a biodiversity survey at Milne Bay, in 2019. There he observed a tiny species of Eviota with distinct black and iridescent blue fins that he had not seen before. He collected two specimens and photographed them before preserving them as type specimens of the new species.
The dwarf gobies in the genus Eviota are a diverse group of tiny coral reef fishes usually under 18mm in length. They’re found throughout most of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, with some species like Eviota pellucida occasionally appearing in the marine aquarium hobby. There are 122 described species (including the new species,) with many having been described in the last 10 years. The increase in discoveries is mainly due to selective searching, underwater photography, and collection by diving researchers.
Greenfield & Winterbottom (2016) summarized the genus and presented a key, with photographs, to the 107 species described between 1871 and 2016. Greenfield (2017) reviewed the taxonomic history, systematics, reproduction, ecology, geographic distribution, genetic studies, and speciation of the dwarf gobies.
The new species is currently known only from Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, although it is presumed to be more widespread.
The description was written by David W Greenfield and Mark V Erdmann and published in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. Mark Erdmann has worked on the descriptions of four new goby species in the last year.