Pictured above is an incredible sample of Navigobius found in the Philippines which extends the range of this eye-popping genus by more than a thousand miles. The Navigobius genus was just created less than five years ago to describe the first and only recognized species thus far, Navigobius dewa from Japan.
Until a few months ago, Dewa’s dartfish was just a holy grail goby for those of us who are into that sort of thing, but then a very few specimens were collected alive and a couple even went to Singapore. The specimen in the bag is the first recorded collection for Navigobius outside of Japan and this fish is gifted with an incredibly bright pink to purple coloration that is hinted at in pictures of Japanese specimens, but truly glows in the Filipino individual.
It’s wholly possible that this Navigobius is a new species as many dartfish are differentiated on slight color differences but a whole lot more collections and samples would be required to make any kind of judgment either way. Better yet, our tipster reports that this fish was caught “very deep” in the Philippines and perhaps this means like Cirrhilabrus cf. lanceolatus “deep” in that it’s could be just about 100 to 150 feet so just within reach of professional fish collectors.
Only time will tell whether this Navigobius specimen is a fluke or if more will be observed and maybe collected for the aquarium trade. We’ll try to uncover more about the source and origin of this stunning dartfish from the Philippines and we really hope that more individuals are collected so can better observe and study them.