It’s been a hot minute since we saw some new species of reef fish being described and so this next new species from Papua New Guinea is here to make sure we don’t go without. Lubricogobius nanus is a small species of slippery goby, a genus which is already known for having very tiny members.
Being right in the Coral Triangle, Papua New Guinea is a treasure trove of reef fish diversity and many species which are being discovered all the time. The new Lubricogobius nanus brings the total number of species of Lubricogobius to five, with the genus being sometimes called “slippery gobies” for their absence of scales from the body and skin.
Despite their really small size of much less than an inch, the white-backed Lubricogobius dinah is a very popular target of underwater fish photographers. This species is often spotted living and breeding among refuse, usually bottles, cans, coconut and bivalve shells.
All of the known species of Lubricogobius sport a common motif of a yellow colored body and fins, with slight adornations here and there, and they are widespread in the Western Pacific Ocean. The five species of slipper gobies can be found from Australia to Japan, and the newly described Lubricogobius nanus takes its rightful place in the southern half of Papua New Guinea.
The type specimens for Lubricogobius nanus were collected in Milne Bay, PNG, on a mud slope with all samples coming from a relatively small 100 meter sampling area. As you might have guessed, this new species of slippery goby is named L. nanus because it is the smallest known member of the genus with the largest adult specimens barely cracking 1 cm in length. [JOSF]