Saturday, October 9, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Lentipes bunagaya, L. kijimuna & L. palawanirufus Do Colour-morphs of An Amphidromous Goby represent Different Species? Taxonomy of Lentipes (Gobiiformes: Oxudercidae: Sicydiinae) from Japan and Palawan, Philippines, with Phylogenomic Approaches

Lentipes bunagaya,     Lentipes palawanirufus,
Lentipes kijimuna,
Lentipes armatus Sakai & Nakamura, 1979

Maeda, Kobayashi, Palla, Shinzato, Koyanagi, Montenegro, Nagano, Saeki, Kunishima, Mukai, Tachihara, Laudet, Satoh & Yamahira, 2021

We document four male colour morphs of the Indo-Pacific goby genus Lentipes in Japan and the Philippines. Despite distinctive colour patterns, males of the different morphs could not be distinguished by meristic or morphometric characters. In contrast, co-occurring females had very similar colouration and could not be sorted into different types. We observed that the four types are not distinguished by mitochondrial genome sequences. On the other hand, genome-wide SNPs analysis clearly separated the four types, suggesting that they indeed represent four independent lineages. We considered that the four lineages could have diverged recently, and therefore, the sorting of mitochondrial haplotypes may not have been completed yet. One of the four lineages is identified as L. armatus Sakai & Nakamura, 1979, and the other three are described in this study as new species: L. kijimuna sp. nov., L. bunagaya sp. nov., and L. palawanirufus sp. nov. We observed that males display their species-specific body colourations during courtship. Pre-zygotic isolation due to female preferences for different male body colours is probably the primary mechanism of reproductive isolation between the four species.
Key words: Amphidromy, colouration, ddRAD-seq, genome-wide SNPs, Gobiiformes, goby, Lentipes, mitochondrial genome


(Left) A male of Lentipes armatus, which, until now, was the only known Lentipes species in Japan.
(Right) A male of the new species, Lentipes kijimuna, observed in a stream in Okinawa, Japan.

(Left) A male of the new species, Lentipes bunagaya, observed in a stream in Okinawa, Japan.
(Right) A male of the new species, Lentipes palawanirufus, found in a stream in Palawan, Philippines. 

Ken Maeda, Hirozumi Kobayashi, Herminie P. Palla, Chuya Shinzato, Ryo Koyanagi, Javier Montenegro, Atsushi J. Nagano, Toshifumi Saeki, Taiga Kunishima, Takahiko Mukai, Katsunori Tachihara, Vincent Laudet, Noriyuki Satoh and Kazunori Yamahira. 2021. Do Colour-morphs of An Amphidromous Goby represent Different Species? Taxonomy of Lentipes (Gobiiformes) from Japan and Palawan, Philippines, with Phylogenomic Approaches. Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2021.1971792 

Three new species of freshwater goby fish found in Japan and the Philippines
- Scientists have discovered three new species of goby fish, two found in Okinawa and a third from Palawan in the Philippines
- Each species has a similar body form to known species, Lentipes armatus, but the males of each species display unique color patterns with red markings
- The species found in Okinawa have been named Lentipes kijimuna and Lentipes bunagaya, inspired by the red-colored wood spirits, Kijimuna and Bunagaya, from Okinawan folk mythology
- The third species has been named Lentipes palawanirufus which translates as “red Lentipes goby of Palawan”.
- DNA analysis split the four gobies into four distinct lineages that diverged recently
- The unique color patterns of the males may play an important role in maintaining the separate lineages through their courtship behavior towards females