With new descriptions almost every week, sometimes it’s hard to get excited about new species of nano gobies, especially Eviota. However today’s newest entry into the tree of life, the Painted Face Dwarf Goby, is an especially beautiful new species.
Even the scientific name, Eviota pictifacies, literally means painted face, due to an almost clown-trigger like pattern of spots and stripes in various colors. Blue face, red facial spots, and especially those stripy eyes make for a fish that is pretty unmistakeable.
Interestingly, we must have been distracted by all the pretty corals during our Sumbawa Expedition because the Painted Face Dwarf Goby was discovered in precisely the same bay that we visited, Teluk Saleh in Sumbawa Indonesia. But in our defense, clocking in at a maximum of 17 mm (0.67 inches), the tiny Painted Face could have been present during our dives but easy to lose behind a single polyp or branch of coral.
It’s also cool to know that the pattern of the eyes is one of the most notable and defining features of the painted face dwarf goby, because it’s a characteristic that us non-ichthyologist can easily pay attention to. The newly described Eviota pictifacies is described by Greenfield & Erdmann in the most recent Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.