Not too long ago we pointed out that the genus Navigobius could hold two more species apart from the original japanese endemic N dewa. In this article we mentioned that certain individuals of “pink dart gobies” coming out of Japan were different from the true N. dewa, but were passed off as being the same species. We managed to get our hands on a pair of these “fake dewas” and with closer scrutiny, managed to observe obvious differences in finnage as well as overall morphology. This is consistent with multiple individuals photographed in the wild, and in the trade. As a result we have made an amendment to our original article, and have brought it up again with the discussion of a possible third species mentioned here.
Unlike the true Navigobius dewa, N. cf. dewa with the serrated dorsal fin is not restricted to Japan. In September 2014, we reported of an individual being collected in the Philippines. This gave N. cf. dewa a larger range expansion as originally thought, as all individuals have so far only been photographed in Japan. The third unknown species with the spiked dorsal fin and blue edged fins currently remains unclear with respects to where it is found.
We were rather surprised with the appearance of this species in Philippines, but in retrospect that’s actually entirely plausible. Philippines is just south of Japan, and with many deepwater species, the exact geographical range span is not well known because of the lack of observations. However just last week Aquatailor, a japanese LFS, scored a couple of specimens all the way from the Maldives.
This is an extremely unexpected and unusual find. The specimens look identical to N. cf dewa with the same dorsal fin and tail patterns, but is noticeably more orange. Again, to have the fish found all the way in another ocean is remarkable, and this puts N. cf. dewa right at the top of its genus in having the largest known range yet.
The story development of this unknown yet similar species of N. dewa is extremely interesting. Having seen a huge extension of its range as well as multiple specimens and photographs of it already being taken, could N. cf dewa finally stop living in the shadow of the true Navigobius dewa? With luck we’ll see it being examined and described, and hopefully no longer erroneously identified as the latter.