Thursday, May 22, 2008


A new shrimpgoby in the genus Tomiyamichthys (I refer to it as Tomiyamichthys sp. A). from West Papua. Note the very large, sail-like dorsal fin with black smudge and orange markings on the head. I believe that this is the male - the dorsal fin and color of the female are not as striking. Photo by Scott W. Michael.

Threat display of new West Papua shrimpgoby (Tomiyamichthys sp. A). Note Randall's pistol shrimp (Alpheus randalli). Photo by Scott W. Michael.

The longspot shrimpgoby (Tomiyamichthys tanyspilus) photographed in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (to this point it was only known from Flores, Indonesia). Photo by Scott W. Michael.

What appears to be an undescribed Tomiyamichthys from West Papua. Note the beautiful blue spot on the dorsal margin. Photo by Scott W. Michael.

GOBIES TO GRIZZLIES.. Hmmm? I have done a number of grizzly posts but no goby offerings as of yet – the time has come! I would like to introduce you to a new species of Tomiyamichthys presumably from West Papua (this is where it was said to have come from, but collectors don’t always give accurate local information). There appears to be at least two species (and possibly more) within the genus that have yet to be described. You will find a photo of both above.

I received a pair of the undescribed Tomiyamichthys shown above from Kevin Kohen ( along with their crustacean symbiont, Alpheus randalli (a.k.a. Randall’s snapping shrimp) (the members of this genus are found with other Alpheus shrimp as well). This goby (which I will refer to as Tomiyamichthys sp. A) has a large, sail-like dorsal fin with no filaments (see photo above). Like the recently described Tomiyamichthys tanyspilus (see photo above), it has elongated blotches along the side of the body. However, it also has white spots along the lower dorsum, which are lacking in T. tanyspilus. This species also lacks the filaments present on the dorsal fin of T. tanyspilus. Both have spots on the first dorsal fin, but Tomiyamichthys sp. A has a dusky patch, while T. tanyspilus often has black spots along the bottom margin of the fin. The latter species also has a lanceolate (pointed) caudal fin, which is obvious in the photo above.

My pair of Tomiyamichthys sp. A are not very congenial toward one another (they are in a 5-gallon nano-tank so space is limited). The larger one regularly displays at and chases the smaller member of the pair. In fact, the smaller individual now hides most of the time. They share their tank with a pair of Sri Lankan dracula gobies (Stonogobiops cf. dracula). The larger of the pair of S. dracula and the Tomiyamichthys have reached a truce and although they occasionally aggressively display at one another, they never come to blows. One lives on one end of the their spacious 5-gallon aquarium, while the other maintains a domicile on the opposite side of the vessel.

I have also included a photograph of a new Tomiyamichthys that I photographed while diving in West Papua. This fish has filaments on the posterior edge of the dorsal fin and a sky blue spot. Dr. Gerald Allen was able to collect a couple specimens and intends on describing it in the future. There are currently six species described in the genus Tomiyamichthys. But, for the taxonomically inclined shrimpgoby freaks out there, Flabelligobius will soon be placed in the genus Tomiyamichthys. There are currently three species recognized in the genus Flabelligobius, so when the two merge there will be a total of nine described species.

All of these gobies are great for a nano or larger reef aquarium. I will post more on shrimpgoby husbandry in the future.
Copyright (2008) Scott W. Michael

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