Journal of the
Ocean Science Foundation

An open-access free online peer-reviewed Marine Biology Journal, since 2008.

published by the Ocean Science Foundation

 
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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Three new endemic cryptic species revealed by DNA barcoding of the gobies of the Cayman Islands (Teleostei: Gobiidae)

Benjamin C. Victor

Abstract

A survey of the mitochondrial DNA marker COI for the gobies of the Cayman Islands reveals two categories of gobies: a set of genera that are no different genetically from other Caribbean populations, including Coryphopterus, Ctenogobius, Gnatholepis, and Priolepis, and a set of species that have local mtDNA lineages quite different from populations elsewhere in the region, including Elacatinus, Tigrigobius, and Risor. The cryptic divergent lineages include some that show distinct phenotypic differences and are described here as three new endemic species, as well as others that have divergent local DNA lineages but no apparent phenotypic differences and are treated as genovariants, i.e. populations of the same species with genetic differences. The Cayman Cleaner Goby, Elacatinus cayman n. sp., is found to be a close relative of E. evelynae (1.5% divergent; minimum interspecific distance, K2P), despite the fact that specimens were originally paratypes of E. genie (which are 7.5% divergent): their shared feature of a complete groove above the upper lip is not apparently a synapomorphy with E. genie (i.e. not a shared derived character). A neighbor-joining tree of COI mtDNA sequences for all ten cleaner goby species of the tropical W. Atlantic is presented. The Cayman Sponge Goby, Elacatinus centralis n. sp., differs from E. horsti of the southern Caribbean by the color of the stripe and snout, and is further genetically than is the differently marked Shortstripe Sponge Goby E. chancei (the geographically intervening relative from the Lesser Antilles). A neighbor-joining tree of COI mtDNA sequences for all but two of the striped sponge goby species of the tropical W. Atlantic is presented. The Cayman Greenbanded Goby, Tigrigobius harveyi n. sp., has many more green bands than the Greenbanded Goby of the Antilles, T. multifasciatus, and differs by more than 10% in mtDNA sequence; however, it is only 3% different from the Redcheek Goby of Honduras and the Panamanian Greenbanded Goby. Other species of Tigrigobius, as well as Risor ruber, have divergent local DNA lineages, but no apparent phenotypic differences from other Caribbean populations. No consistent biogeographical relationships are apparent– the location of the nearest-neighbor lineages within the region differs from species to species. A revised species list for the gobies of the Cayman Islands is presented and the Kuna Goby, Coryphopterus kuna, is recorded there for the first time.

     

CITATION:

Victor, B.C. (2014) Three new endemic cryptic species revealed by DNA barcoding of the gobies of the Cayman Islands (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 12, 25–60.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1049119

publication date:22 October 2014