| Periophthalmus pusing |
Jaafar, Polgar & Zamroni, 2016
We describe Periophthalmus pusing sp. nov., a mudskipper species from the Lesser Sunda Islands. This species closely resembles, and was previously identified as, its congener Periophthalmus gracilis Eggert, 1935. A black spot on the posterior portion of the first dorsal fin, a diagnostic character for P. gracilis, is also present in the new species, and thus led to the earlier confusion. Adults of Periophthalmus pusing sp. nov. (> 30 mm SL) differ from those of Periophthalmus gracilis in having XI–XV spines in the first dorsal-fin (vs. VI–XII in P. gracilis), first dorsal fin taller than depth of body at anus (first dorsal fin shorter than depth of body at anus in Periophthalmus gracilis), interdorsal distance less than half the length of the first dorsal-fin spine (interdorsal distance more than half the length of the first dorsal-fin spine in Periophthalmus gracilis).
Key words. Oxudercinae, mudskipper, cryptic species, ichthyofauna, Sumba Island.
Diagnosis. Adult Periophthalmus pusing sp. nov. are distinguished from all congeners with the following suite of characters: pelvic frenum absent; pelvic fins separate for the entire length; a black spot posteriorly on first dorsal fin, spot usually between ninth and the ultimate spine; first dorsal fin
taller than second dorsal fin; interdorsal distance less than half the length of the first dorsal-fin spine. First dorsal-fin elements XI–XV; second dorsal-fin elements I, 10–I, 12; anal-fin elements I, 10–I, 12; pectoral-fin elements 10–12; longitudinal scale rows 42–54; predorsal midline 14–19.
Etymology. The specific epithet ‘pusing’, meaning ‘giddy’ in Indonesian, is the common name used by the coastal people of the Lesser Sunda Islands to refer to Periophthalmus mudskippers. These fishes are known as ‘Ikan Pusing’ (Indonesian: ikan=fish, pusing=giddy), as it is believed that consuming these fishes causes headaches and giddiness.
Distribution. Presently known to occur only on the island of Sumba, Indonesia (Fig. 4).
Field notes: The general locality in which this mudskipper was found—Kawangu—is a tide-dominated coastal system with relatively low wave action. Within the mangrove forest, P. pusing sp. nov. was found in a variety of microhabitat types in seaward and higher mangrove areas as well as within, and on sloping banks of tidal creeks. This species was syntopic with two congeners: Periophthalmus argentilineatus and Periophthalmus malaccensis.
Zeehan Jaafar, Gianluca Polgar and Yuliadi Zamroni. 2016. Description of A New Species of Periophthalmus (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the Lesser Sunda Islands. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 64; 278–283.