Lubricogobius tunicatus is the newest species to join this fascinating group of slippery gobies. The Tunicate Slippery Goby was discovered in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea, adding to the long list of species that continue to be discovered in this biodiverse part of the world.
Like all other Lubricogobius, L. tunicatus is closely associated with something it can hide in, and this species has a preference for tunicates, aka sea squirts. It was found living on silty bottoms at a depth of between 20 to 28 meters (65-90 feet) deep, always associated with large Polycarpa tunicates.
In keeping with the theme of slippery gobies, Lubricogobius tunicatus is also small and yellow. This species grows to just 11mm long, not even half an inch, but still larger than the nano slippery goby, Lubricogobius nanus, which was described just over a year ago.
The description of the tunicate slippery goby also documents the first reports of the ornate slipper goby, Lubricogobius ornatus, from Lembeh, Indonesia. This species had previously only been found in the Western Pacific, from Japan and Vietnam to Northwest Australia, but this is the first record of this species in the East Indies.
Although tiny, slippery gobies are a favorite subject of underwater photographers. The ornate slippery goby is now the sixth known species of Lubricogobius and it is described by Allen & Erdmann in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. [JOSF]