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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click on covers for COVER PAGE images
 

RESEARCH ARTICLE

Starksia splendens, a new endemic labrisomid blenny from the Cayman Islands (Teleostei: Labrisomidae)

Benjamin C. Victor

Abstract

A new endemic species of labrisomid blenny, Starksia splendens n. sp., is described from the Cayman Islands in the central Caribbean Sea. The new blenny is a member of the Starksia lepicoelia species complex (Blackcheek Shy Blennies), which breaks up into a set of allopatric cryptic species in the region. This case is an example of the difficulty in delineating species boundaries when there is high variation in marking patterns: without the combination of extensive underwater photography and mtDNA sequencing, diagnostic differences could not be accurately determined. In this case, the new species is distinguished by color patterns, species-specific black markings on the lips of both females and males, as well as elongated, ribbon-like, white orbital cirri on mature males. Mitochondrial DNA sequencing reveals a 7.22% divergence in the sequence of the mtDNA COI barcode marker from the nearest member of the species complex, S. williamsi, from the Lesser Antilles. The species complex now comprises 5 allopatric species and 6 distinct mtDNA lineages, with two genovariant populations of S. lepicoelia sympatric in the Bahamas.

 

     

CITATION:

Victor, B.C. (2018) Starksia splendens, a new endemic labrisomid blenny from the Cayman Islands (Teleostei: Labrisomidae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 31, 54-73.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1472497

publication date: 29 October 2018