Six new species of the genus Trimma (Percomorpha; Gobiidae) from the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia, with notes on cephalic sensory papillae nomenclature

Richard Winterbottom

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 127-162, Volume 17, Issue 3  10 July 2011

Recent (2010) fieldwork in the Raja Ampat Islands of Indonesia resulted in the collection of seven undescribed species of Trimma, six of which are described here. Two of these are currently only known from these islands, the others are known from other parts of the western Pacific. Trimma cheni n. sp. is distinguished from other species of Trimma in having 8-9 scales in the predorsal midline, 2-3 scales on the opercle, an elongate second dorsal spine reaching posteriorly to the bases of rays 1-4 of the second dorsal fin, middle pectoral fin rays branched, fifth pelvic fin ray branched once, a dark basal stripe in the dorsal fins, scale pockets indistinctly outlined with darker pigment, and, in life, two red to orange bars across the cheek and three diffuse yellow stripes on the body (most obvious along the caudal peduncle). It has been recorded from Palau, the Philippines, and Sulawesi and Flores in Indonesia. Trimma erdmanni n. sp. has a reddish-orange body with a dark red lateral stripe with darker borders on the body which extends anteriorly onto the head, where it bifurcates, and there is a thin longitudinal light stripe below the eye. It usually lacks scales in the predorsal midline, the second spine of the first dorsal is elongated, there are 9 dorsal and 8 anal rays, a single branch in the fifth pelvic fin ray, and 19-22 gill rakers on the first gill arch. The species is known from the Raja Ampat islands, the Hermit Islands and Madang (Papua New Guinea), and from photographs from El Nido, Palawan Island and Davao Gulf, Mindanoro, Philippines. Trimma habrum n. sp. has a bony interorbital width equal to the pupil diameter, 8-9 scales in the predorsal midline, 14 unbranched pectoral fin rays, an unbranched fifth pelvic fin ray, no basal membrane joining the fifth pelvic fin rays across the midline, usually a single full row of cheek scales, and scales on the upper two-thirds of the opercle. The fresh colouration is diagnostic: a pale translucent dorsum with light yellow blotches and the base of each element of the dorsal fin surrounded by a red spot, a thin red bar along the posterior margins of the hypurals, no dark pigment at all on the hypural region of the peduncle, and a darkly pigmented covering to the dorsal margins of the swim bladder, neural sheath, and the brain. It is currently known only from a single collection made at Kerou Island, Fam Islands in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Trimma haimassum n. sp. is characterized by a relatively deep body, numerous irregular scales with about 30 lateral rows and over 15 scales in the anterior transverse series, a fifth pelvic fin ray that branches twice dichotomously, usually a somewhat elongate second dorsal spine, no predorsal, cheek or opercular scales, a moderately wide bony interorbital with a fleshy median ridge between the eyes, and a dermal ridge anterior to the first dorsal spine. There is a red spot or elongate blotch above the opercle in live and fresh material, and the dorsal surface of the snout has a reticulated dark pattern, with dark transverse stripes over the dorsal margin of the orbit. The species is known from south-western Sulawesi north to Palawan and eastwards to the Solomon Islands. Trimma papayum n. sp. is unique among the described species of the genus in having a one-third pupil diameter black ocellated spot on and just behind the fourth dorsal fin spine. It has 9 dorsal and 8 anal fin rays, a single branch point in the fifth pelvic fin ray, 10-11 anterior and 8-9 posterior transverse scale rows, 5-10 scales in the predorsal midline, and a single row of 3 scales on the upper margin of the opercle. Freshly collected specimens are orange red in overall colouration, with scattered diffuse yellow spots. The species is known only from Indonesia, at Maumere, Flores and Kawe Island, Raja Ampat. Trimma xanthochrum n. sp. is characterized by a wide interorbital region (80-100% pupil diameter), a second dorsal spine usually reaching posteriorly to between the bases of the second to third dorsal fin rays, 15-16 pectoral rays usually with 7-8 branched rays, vertical rows of sensory papillae below eye of 2-3 papillae in rows 1-4 and 4-5 in row 5, a caudal blotch which has a lower half about two-thirds the width of the upper half, and usually an overall yellowish body with yellow at least proximally in the caudal fin. It is currently known with certainty only from the Raja Ampat islands.

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