A new species of the Trimma caesiura complex (Gobiidae, Teleostei) from the north-eastern margin of the Australian Plate, with a redescription of the other nominal species in the complex

Richard Winterbottom and Cesar A. Villa

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 13-28, Volume 7, Issue 1 – May 2003


A new species of Trimma caesiura species complex, T. lantana, is described from the north-eastern margin of the Australasian plate and the Solomon Islands, and four other species of the complex are redescribed. This species complex is defined by the possession of a deep, steep-sided trench between and posterodorsal to the orbits. The new species differs from its congeners in the presence of two brick-red or brown, dark-edged, rounded blotches over the vertical limb of the preopercle, and smaller but similar blotches, on the cheek below the eye and on the dorsal surface of the snout. It differs further from T. caesiura in having an elongate spine in the first dorsal fin and ventrolateral white spots on the caudal peduncle, and in lacking thin white bars on the cheek. Trimma baudei has a club-like red bar over the vertical limb of the preopercle and a distinct dark bar over the bases of the pectoral fin rays (the latter diffuse or absent in T. lantana). Two other nominal species that appear to belong to this complex are redescribed here. Both T. mendelssohni and T. winterbottomi have more than a single branch in the fifth pelvic fin ray, usually more pectoral fin rays (a mean of 18 vs. 16), and a posterior nasal opening adnate to the anterior margin of the eye (vs. distinctly separate from the eye margin). The taxonomic status of two other species in this complex, T. corallinum and T. omanensis, is currently under review elsewhere, and these species are not considered further here.

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