Order GOBIIFORMES: Families RHYACICHTHYIDAE, ODONTOBUTIDAE, MILYERINGIDAE, ELEOTRIDAE, BUTIDAE and THALASSELEOTRIDIDAE

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v. 1.0 – 7 Oct. 2017 view/download PDF

Family RHYACICHTHYIDAE Loach Gobies

Protogobius Watson & Pöllabauer 1998    protos, first; gobius, goby, allusion not explained, probably referring to a number a primitive (plesiomorphic) characters that demonstrate its position as a basal gobioid

Protogobius attiti Watson & Pöllabauer 1998    in honor of Chief Attiti, one of the Melanesian chiefs of the tribe Goro, who was “quick to recognize the new goby, but stated there was no name for it among the Melanesians” [a noun in apposition without the patronymic “i”]

Rhyacichthys Boulenger 1901    rhyaco, torrent, referring to its occurrence in fast-flowing streams; ichthys, fish

Rhyacichthys aspro (Valenciennes 1837)    presumably referring to its superficial resemblance with the European percid Aspro apron (=Zingel asper)

Rhyacichthys guilberti Dingerkus & Séret 1992    in honor of entomologist Eric Guilbert, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris), who helped collect type


Family ODONTOBUTIDAE Freshwater Sleepers
6 genera · 24 species

Micropercops Fowler & Bean 1920    ops, appearance, referring to superficial resemblance of M. dabryi to the diminutive North American percid Etheostoma microperca

Micropercops borealis Nichols 1930    northern, proposed as a northern subspecies of M. dabryi

Micropercops cinctus (Dabry de Thiersant 1872)    girdle or belt, referring to dark crossbands on yellowish body

Micropercops dabryi Fowler & Bean 1920    in honor of Pierre Dabry de Thiersant, fish culturist, French counsel to China and student of Chinese fishes, who described M. cinctus in 1872

Micropercops hotayensis Mai 1978    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ho Tay, northern Viêt Nam, type locality

Micropercops swinhonis (Günther 1873)    is, genitive singular of: Robert Swinhoe (1836-1877), British consul and naturalist at Shanghai, China, who collected type

Micropercops xanthi (Günther 1888)    xanthos, yellow, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to its “light” coloration

Neodontobutis Chen, Kottelat & Wu 2002    neo-, new, referring to similarities with the related genus Odontobutis

Neodontobutis aurarmus (Vidthayanon 1995)    auro-, golden; armus, arm, referring to distinctive golden-brown color of pectoral-fin base (anatomically homologous to the arm)

Neodontobutis hainanensis (Chen 1985)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Hainan Island, China, type locality

Neodontobutis macropectoralis (Mai 1978)    macro-, large; pectoralis, pectoral, referring to larger pectoral fins compared to Micropercops hotayensis, its presumed congener at the time

Neodontobutis ngheanensis Nguyen & Nguyen 2011    ensis, suffix denoting place: Nghe An province, Viêt Nam, where type locality (Khe Khang stream, Pumat National Park) is situated

Neodontobutis tonkinensis (Mai 1978)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Tonkin, Viêt Nam, type locality (also occurs on Hainan Island, China)

Odontobutis Bleeker 1874    odontos, tooth, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to outer row of teeth, which are slightly enlarged compared to Butis (Butidae), its presumed confamilial at the time

Odontobutis haifengensis Chen 1985    ensis, suffix denoting place: Haifeng Xian, Guangdong Province, China, type locality

Odontobutis hikimius Iwata & Sakai 2002    latinization of Hikimi, name junior author (1998) had given for one of five geographic groups of O. obscura, referring to Hikimi River, Shimane Prefecture, Japan, type locality

Odontobutis interruptus Iwata & Jeon 1985    interrupted, referring to pale crossbands on body interrupted by a pale longitudinal line on each side

Odontobutis obscurus (Temminck & Schlegel 1845)    dark, referring to its “dirty brown” coloration, “irregularly clouded with blackish brown” (translations)

Odontobutis platycephala Iwata & Jeon 1985    platy, flat; cephala, head, referring to its large, depressed head

Odontobutis potamophilus (Günther 1861)    potamos, river; philos, fond of or loving, referring to its fluviatile habitat

Odontobutis sinensis Wu, Chen & Chong 2002    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sinica (China), where it is endemic

Odontobutis yaluensis Wu, Wu & Xie 1993    ensis, suffix denoting place: Yalu River drainage, China, type locality

Perccottus Dybowski 1877    a combination of Perca and Cottus, referring to its similarity to perches (Percidae) and sculpins (Cottidae)

Perccottus glenii Dybowski 1877    in honor of Col. Nikolay Alexandrovich Glen, whose efforts improved the well-being of the Ussuri River area (Ussuriland) of Russia, type locality (also occurs in China and Korea; introduced in Europe)

Sineleotris Herre 1940    Sino-, of Sinica (China), referring to Hong Kong distribution of S. saccharae; Eleotris, its presumed confamilial at the time

Sineleotris chalmersi (Nichols & Pope 1927)    in honor of Chalmers Salsbury, son of Clarence G. Salsbury, M.D., American Presbyterian Mission of Hainan, China, honored in the same publication (Cyprinidae: Osteochilus salsburyi) for his interest and aid in Nichols’ work

Sineleotris namxamensis Chen & Kottelat 2004    ensis, suffix denoting place: Nam Xam, a tributary of the Nam Ma, northeastern Laos, type locality

Sineleotris saccharae Herre 1940    saccharum, sugar, i.e., of sugar, in honor of Mr. B. E. Sugars, secretary of the Hong Kong Aquarium Society, who collected type

Terateleotris Shibukawa, Iwata & Viravong 2001    teras, a marvel or a monster; Eleotris, sleeper goby, referring to its “remarkable character arrangements,” which make the interrelationships of basal gobioids “chaotic”

Terateleotris aspro (Kottelat 1998)    referring to similar color pattern with Rhyacichthys aspro (Rhyacichthyidae) and the European percid Zingel asper


Family MILYERINGIDAE Blind Cave Gobies

Milyeringa Whitley 1945    named for Milyering, 20 miles southwest of Vlamingh Head, North West Cape, Western Australia, type locality

Milyeringa justitia Larson & Foster 2013    justice, to complement the name of its only congener, M. veritas, which means truth: “As truth and justice are supposed to go together, we name this species justitia, from the Latin for justice, in the hope that justice helps the species to survive on Barrow Island, which has been an oilfield since 1967 and is most recently the site of the Gorgon Gas Hub development.”

Milyeringa veritas Whitley 1945    truth; according to Whitley (1951): like “Truth,” this blind cave goby was “found at the bottom of the well,” alluding to a quote attributed to the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Democritus (460 BC–c. 370 BC): “Truth lies at the bottom of a well, the depth of which, alas! gives but little hope of release.” (another version: “Of truth we know nothing, for truth lies at the bottom of a well.”)

Typhleotris Petit 1933    typhlos, blind, i.e., a blind Eleotris (Eleotridae), referring to its presumed relationship with that genus                                 

Typhleotris madagascariensis Petit 1933    ensis, suffix denoting place: Madagascar, where it is endemic to groundwaters of the Mahafaly Plateau                        

Typhleotris mararybe Sparks & Chakrabarty 2012    derived from the Malagasy words marary (ill or sick) and be (big), meaning “very sick” or “big sickness,” referring to the strange and debilitating viral fever that members of the field team suffered after diving in the Madagascar sinkhole where it occurs                          

Typhleotris pauliani Arnoult 1959    in honor of prominent French entomologist and former deputy director of the Institut de Recherche Scientifique de Madagascar, Renaud Paulian (1913-2003), who collected type specimens and did much seminal work on western Indian Ocean biogeography


Family ELEOTRIDAE Spinycheek Sleepers
29 genera · 136 species · Taxonomic note: Includes taxa previously placed in the family Xenisthmidae.

Allomicrodesmus Schultz 1966    allo-, other or different, i.e., another genus presumed to be closely related to Microdesmus (Gobiidae)                       

Allomicrodesmus dorotheae Schultz 1966    in honor of Schultz’ wife, Dorothea Bowers Schultz, who illustrated many of the new species in his monograph (but not this one)                         

Allomogurnda Allen 2003    allo-, other or different, referring to its general appearance, which resembles Mogurnda                                 

Allomogurnda flavimarginata Allen 2003    flavus, yellow; marginata, margined, referring to broad yellow margins on dorsal fins                    

Allomogurnda hoesei Allen 2003    in honor of ichthyologist Doug Hoese, Australian Museum (Sydney), for numerous contributions to gobiid systematics                    

Allomogurnda insularis Allen 2003    of an island, referring to type locality, situated on Goodenough Island, eastern Papua New Guinea                      

Allomogurnda landfordorum Allen 2003    in honor of Alan and Julia Landford, formerly of Bulolo, Papua New Guinea, for their assistance with collecting paratypes of this species and A. flavimarginata [originally spelled landfordi, but since name honors more than one person, emendment is necessary]                               

Allomogurnda montana Allen 2003    of the mountains, referring to its occurrence in primary forest at an elevation of ~580 m                          

Allomogurnda multicincta Allen & Hoese 2017    multi-, many; cinctus, belted or encircled, referring to series of relatively narrow brown bars on body                              

Allomogurnda nesolepis (Weber 1907)    nesos, island; lepis, scale, referring to “scales between the eyes and crest forming a kind of island in which those scales are larger than those behind them” (translation)                       

Allomogurnda papua Allen 2003    Papua, English historical name for southeastern Papua New Guinea, where it occurs                    

Allomogurnda sampricei Allen 2003    in honor of Samuel Price, a “keen teenage naturalist” from Jayapura, Indonesia, who collected type                             

Belobranchus Bleeker 1856    tautonymous with Eleotris belobrancha (but unnecessarily renamed B. quoyi), referring to branchiostegal rays, which terminate anteriorly into a spine                  

Belobranchus belobranchus (Valenciennes 1837)    belos, arrow; branchus, gill, referring to branchiostegal rays of B. belobranchus, which terminate anteriorly into a spine                                  

Belobranchus segura Keith, Hadiaty & Lord 2012    in honor of the authors’ friend Gilles Ségura, hydrobiologist, for his “extensive and enthusiastic work on freshwater fauna” [a noun in apposition, without the patronymic “i”]                         

Bunaka Herre 1927    from bunak, Negrito name for B. pinguis (=gyrinoides)                              

Bunaka gyrinoides (Bleeker 1853)    oides, having the form of: gyrinus, tadpole, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to body anteriorly cylindrical and posteriorly compressed                           

Caecieleotris Walsh & Chakrabarty 2016    caecus, blind, referring to its lack of eyes; Eleotris, type genus of family                                

Caecieleotris morrisi Walsh & Chakrabarty 2016    in honor of “good friend and colleague” Thomas L. Morris, “renowned cave diver and speleobiologist, intrepid explorer, and respected conservationist devoted to the protection of karst habitats and their associated biotas”; Morris discovered this species and collected type                    

Calumia Smith 1958    etymology not explained nor evident 

Calumia eilperinae Allen & Erdmann 2010    in honor of environmental journalist Juilet Eilperin, “who has continued to expose [promote?] and support the Bird’s Head Seascape marine conservation program [encompassing Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, Indonesia, type locality] through her excellent reportage of the initiative”                      

Calumia godeffroyi (Günther 1877)    in honor of shipping magnate Johann Cesar VI. Godeffroy (1813-1885), who commissioned natural history collections in Australia and the South Seas, and whose Museum Godeffroy (Hamburg, Germany), housed type and published its description                    

Calumia papuensis Allen & Erdmann 2010    ensis, suffix denoting place: Papua Province, Indonesia, type locality                     

Calumia profunda Larson & Hoese 1980    of the depths, referring to its being found at relatively deep (38 m) coral reefs                   

Dormitator Gill 1861    Latin for “one who sleeps,” derived from “dormeur,” vernacular used in the early 19th-century French colonies of South America and source of the English vernacular “sleeper,” presumably referring to their seemingly lethargic behavior (see Eleotris)

Dormitator cubanus Ginsburg 1953    Cuban, known only from the western Atlantic waters off Cuba                                    

Dormitator latifrons (Richardson 1844)    latus, broad; frons, brow or face, referring to its broad and flat head                         

Dormitator lebretonis (Steindachner 1870)    is, genitive singular of: Dr. Lebreton (forename not given), “dear friend” (translation), who helped Steindachner in “every way” (translation) during his stay in Dagana, Senegal (type locality)                      

Dormitator maculatus (Bloch 1792)    spotted, described as having brown spots on head and sides and black spots on belly                             

Eleotris Bloch & Schneider 1801    according to Valenciennes (1837), derived from a Greek name for an unidentified fish from the Nile, whereas Jordan & Gilbert (1883) claim that name derives from the Greek eleos (bewildered), perhaps alluding to the vernacular “sleeper,” which appears to be an English translation of the vernacular “dormeur” used in the early 19th-century French colonies of South America; Valenciennes stated that dormeurs are “usually lazy fish, which stand quietly in the mud or rocks holes” (translation)                      

Eleotris acanthopoma Bleeker 1853    acanthus, spine; poma, lid or covering, referring to conical and curved preopercular spine                           

Eleotris amblyopsis (Cope 1871)    amblys, blunt; opsis, face, referring to its prominent chin                                   

Eleotris andamensis Herre 1939    ensis, suffix denoting place: Andaman Islands, India and Myanmar, only known area of occurrence                                 

Eleotris annobonensis Blanc, Cadenat & Stauch 1968    ensis, suffix denoting place: Annobón Island, Gulf of Guinea, type locality                                 

Eleotris aquadulcis Allen & Coates 1990    aqua, water; dulcis, fresh, referring to its purely freshwater habitat                  

Eleotris beliziana Sauvage 1880    anus, belonging to: Belize, one of the type localities (also described from French Guiana)                    

Eleotris bosetoi Mennesson, Keith, Ebner & Gerbeaux 2016    in honor of the authors’ friend David Boseto, for his “extensive and enthusiastic” work on the freshwater fauna of the Solomon Islands (he also helped collect type)                           

Eleotris daganensis Steindachner 1870    ensis, suffix denoting place: near Dagana, Senegal, type locality (but occurs along Africa south to Namibia)                                    

Eleotris fasciata Chen 1964    banded, presumably referring to two longitudinal short black bands projecting from hind margin of eye, and a third band below median of eye, all three reaching or nearly reaching hind margin or preoperculum                             

Eleotris feai Thys van den Audenaerde & Tortonese 1974    in honor of Leonardo Fea (1852-1903), Italian explorer, zoologist, painter and naturalist, who collected type in 1902                                    

Eleotris fusca (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    dark or dusky, referring to brown body coloration                                   

Eleotris klunzingerii Pfeffer 1893    in honor of German physician and zoologist Carl Benjamin Klunzinger (1834-1914), whose 1870 synopsis of Red Sea fishes is cited many times by Pfeffer                                   

Eleotris lutea Day 1876    yellow, but Day did not mention this color in his description; instead, he said it is “dirty-grayish” with dark/black spots (contemporary accounts appear to confirm grayish coloration)                                  

Eleotris mauritiana Bennett 1832    ana, belonging to: Mauritius (Mascarenes, southwestern Indian Ocean), type locality                                 

Eleotris melanosoma Bleeker 1853    melanos, black; soma, body, presumably referring to dark- or black-green (“nigricante-viridi”) upper body color                            

Eleotris oxycephala Temminck & Schlegel 1845    oxy, sharp; cephalus, head, referring to its more pointed head compared to Odontobutis obscura (Odontobutidae), its presumed congener at the time                             

Eleotris pellegrini Maugé 1984    in honor of French ichthyologist Jacques Pellegrin (1873-1944), who identified this species as E. vittata in 1933                              

Eleotris perniger (Cope 1871)    per-, very; niger, black, referring to body coloration and/or black bars on fins                                 

Eleotris picta Kner 1863    painted, probably referring to numerous spots and white striations on lower body                          

Eleotris pisonis (Gmelin 1789)    is, genitive singular of: William Piso (1611-1678), Dutch physician and naturalist, who, with Georg Marcgrave, wrote about this goby (and provided a pre-Linnaean name) in 1648                                  

Eleotris sandwicensis Vaillant & Sauvage 1875    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sandwich Islands, former name of Hawaiian Islands, where it is endemic                                

Eleotris senegalensis Steindachner 1870    ensis, suffix denoting place: Senegal, type locality                  

Eleotris tecta Bussing 1996    concealed or disguised, referring to its apparent scarcity and the fact that it has not been distinguished until recently from its congener, E. picta                            

Eleotris tubularis Heller & Snodgrass 1903    tubular, presumably referring to anterior nostril tubes extending beyond mouth                             

Eleotris vittata Duméril 1861    banded, referring to broad black band on sides                        

Eleotris vomerodentata Maugé 1984    vomer, roof of mouth; dentata, toothed, referring to an oval-shaped patch of small caniniform teeth on vomer                                  

Erotelis Poey 1860    anagram of Eleotris, a closely related genus                                 

Erotelis armiger (Jordan & Richardson 1895)    bearing arms, referring to concealed antrorse hook below preopercle                             

Erotelis clarki (Hildebrand 1938)    in honor of pathologist Herbert C. Clark, director of the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory (Panama), who made possible the “investigations resulting in the discovery of this and several other new species of Panamanian fishes”                     

Erotelis shropshirei (Hildebrand 1938)    in honor of J. B. Shropshire, supervisor of malaria control for the U.S. Army in Panama, who “took the holotype in the dry dock at Mount Hope, when it was pumped out, and who assisted [Hildebrand] in many other ways while he was working in Panama in 1937”                     

Erotelis smaragdus (Valenciennes 1837)    emerald, alluding to esmeralda negra, its common name in Havana, Cuba (type locality)                    

Fagasa Schultz 1943    named for Fagasa, Polynesian village and bay, Tutuila Island, American Samoa, type locality of F. tutuilae                            

Fagasa tutuilae Schultz 1943    of Tutuila Island, American Samoa, type locality                    

Giuris Sauvage 1880    etymology not explained, perhaps alluding to Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton 1822), a gobiid (Gobiidae) from the Ganges River (possibly derived from a local Indian name)

Giuris margaritaceus (Valenciennes 1837)    pearly, referring to what Valenciennes perceived as pearl-like white spots on its sides                      

Gobiomorphus Gill 1863    gobio, goby; morphus, shape, repeating the meaning of the type species epithet, G. gobioides, referring to how this New Zealand species resembles the “most common gobies” (translation) of European coasts                          

Gobiomorphus alpinus Stokell 1962    alpine (of a high mountain), referring to its occurrence at 1036 m                        

Gobiomorphus australis (Krefft 1864)   southern, presumably referring to its endemic occurrence in Australia                   

Gobiomorphus basalis (Gray 1842)    presumably referring to “broad yellow basal band” on pectoral fins                                

Gobiomorphus breviceps (Stokell 1939)    brevis, short; ceps, head, referring to shorter head compared to Philypnodon grandiceps, its presumed congener at the time                           

Gobiomorphus cotidianus McDowall 1975    Latin for common or ordinary, referring to its vernacular name, “common bully”                            

Gobiomorphus coxii (Krefft 1864)    patronym not identified, probably in honor of physician-naturalist James C. Cox (1834-1912), who collected a snake that Krefft described in a companion paper, and a trustee of the Sydney (now Australian) Museum, where Krefft worked                      

Gobiomorphus gobioides (Valenciennes 1837)    oides, having the form of: gobius, or goby, referring to how this New Zealand species resembles the “most common gobies” (translation) of European coasts                      

Gobiomorphus hubbsi (Stokell 1959)    in honor of ichthyologist Carl L. Hubbs (1894-1979), who drew attention to the distinctiveness of this species while collecting with Stokell in 1949                     

Gobiomorphus huttoni (Ogilby 1894)    in honor of Capt. Frederick Wollaston Hutton (1836-1905), Army officer and naturalist, “whose researches have tended so much to elucidate the history of the New Zealand fishes”                            

Gobiomorus Lacepède 1800    gobio, goby, which sleepers resemble; moros, dull, sluggish or stupid, probably referring to their seemingly lethargic behavior (see Eleotris)                                   

Gobiomorus dormitor Lacepède 1800    Latin for “one who sleeps,” derived from “dormeur,” vernacular used in the early 19th-century French colonies of South America, presumably referring to their seemingly lethargic behavior (see Eleotris) and source of the English vernacular “sleeper”                   

Gobiomorus maculatus (Günther 1859)    spotted, referring to irregular blackish spots on yellowish body                                

Gobiomorus polylepis Ginsburg 1953   poly; many; lepis, scales, referring to smaller, more numerous (70-80) lateral line scales compared to congeners                             

Guavina Bleeker 1874    tautonynous with Eleotris guavina (Spanish name for this species and perhaps sleeper gobies in general)                    

Guavina guavina (Valenciennes 1837)    Spanish name for this species (and perhaps sleeper gobies in general) reported by Portuguese-Cuban naturalist Antonio Parra (1739-?) in 1787                               

Guavina micropus Ginsburg 1953    micro-, small; pous, foot, referring to its “strikingly small” ventral fins                                 

Gymnoxenisthmus Gill, Bogorodsky & Mal 2014    gymnos, bare or naked, referring to absence of scales on body; Xenisthmus, similar in body form to that genus                       

Gymnoxenisthmus tigrellus Gill, Bogorodsky & Mal 2014    little tiger, referring to orange bars on body (name was selected by school children at the Australian Museum Science Festival Expo in August 2013)                    

Hemieleotris Meek & Hildebrand 1916    hemi-, partial, referring to similarity and/or close affinity to Eleotris                                 

Hemieleotris latifasciata (Meek & Hildebrand 1912)    latus, wide; fasciatus, banded, referring to well-defined black band extending from tip of snout and through eye to base of caudal fin                   

Hemieleotris levis Eigenmann 1918    smooth, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to cycloid scales on head, breast, belly, and in front of dorsal fin                              

Hypseleotris Gill 1863    hypselos, high or tall, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to somewhat elevated dorsal profile of H. cyprinoides; Eleotris, type genus of family                           

Hypseleotris aurea (Shipway 1950)    golden, referring to tawny yellow body with a “slight golden appearance” in life                          

Hypseleotris barrawayi Larson 2007    in honor of the late Sandy Barraway, “traditional [aboriginal] owner of the Sleisbeck country [land or region], who had great knowledge of the fauna and stories associated with that country”                             

Hypseleotris compressa (Krefft 1864)    referring to its “compressed” body                       

Hypseleotris cyprinoides (Valenciennes 1837)    oides, having the form of: Cyprinus, referring to how it “singularly resembles” the European cyprinid Cyprinus (now Alburnus) alburnus or “some neighboring species” (translations)                      

Hypseleotris ejuncida Hoese & Allen 1982    Latin for slender, referring to slender body shape                               

Hypseleotris galii (Ogilby 1898)    in honor of friend and aquarist Albert Gale, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, who discovered this goby in a “stone tank” at the Royal Botanic Garden (Sydney) and bred it in the aquarium                      

Hypseleotris kimberleyensis Hoese & Allen 1982    ensis, suffix denoting place: Kimberley district, Western Australia, type locality                  

Hypseleotris klunzingeri (Ogilby 1898)    in honor of German physician and zoologist Carl Benjamin Klunzinger (1834-1914), who misidentified this goby as E. cyprinoides in 1880                             

Hypseleotris leuciscus (Bleeker 1853)    referring to similar body form compared to some Indian species of the cyprinid genus Leuciscus                    

Hypseleotris regalis Hoese & Allen 1982    royal or regal, referring to type locality, Prince Regent Reserve, West Kimberley, Western Australia                            

Kimberleyeleotris Hoese & Allen 1987    Kimberley, both species from the Kimberley region of northwestern Australia; Eleotris, type genus of family                    

Kimberleyeleotris hutchinsi Hoese & Allen 1987    in honor of ichthyologist J. Barry Hutchins (b. 1946), Western Australian Museum, who collected type                             

Kimberleyeleotris notata Hoese & Allen 1987    marked, referring to vertical and chevron-shaped dark-brown bands on sides                             

Leptophilypnion Roberts 2013    diminutive of Leptophilypnus, to which this genus “seems to be related”

Leptophilypnion fittkaui Roberts 2013    in honor of Ernst Josef Fittkau (1927-2012), entomologist, conservationist and advocate of Amerindian rights, who collected type in 1961                      

Leptophilypnion pusillus Roberts 2013    very small or insignificant, referring to its size, 8.4-9.1 mm SL                                

Leptophilypnus Meek & Hildebrand 1916    leptos, thin, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to elongate body of L. fluviatilis, similar to body shape of closely related Philypnus (=Gobiomorus) [note: philypnus means “sleep-loving,” apparently reflecting the “sleeper” or “dormeur” vernacular]                    

Leptophilypnus fluviatilis Meek & Hildebrand 1916    of a river, presumably referring to its being collected in a “muddy brackish creek” near the Atlantic Coast in the Panama Canal Zone                               

Leptophilypnus guatemalensis Thacker & Pezold 2006    ensis, suffix denoting place: Guatemala, where all known specimens are from                           

Leptophilypnus panamensis (Meek & Hildebrand 1916)    ensis, suffix denoting place: referring to distribution off Pacific slope of Panama (also occurs off Costa Rica)                    

Microphilypnus Myers    micro-, small, distinguished from Philypnus (=Gobiomorus) by its “minute” size                    

Microphilypnus acangaquara Caires & Figueiredo 2011    from the Tupí words akang, head, and quara, hole, referring to sensory pores on head, unique in the genus                          

Microphilypnus macrostoma Myers 1927    macro-, long or large; stoma, mouth, presumably referring to “extremely prognathous” lower jaw, with lower teeth exposed                           

Microphilypnus tapajosensis Caires 2013    ensis, suffix denoting place: temporary pools along the middle Tapajós River, Amazonas, Brazil, where it is endemic                    

Microphilypnus ternetzi Myers 1927    in honor of ichthyologist and naturalist Carl Ternetz (1870-1928), who “through his personal effort, has brought together for Indiana University one of the finest collections of South American fresh-water fishes in existence,” including type of this one

Mogurnda Gill 1863    tautonymous with Eleotris mogurnda, native name for this species at Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia                  

Mogurnda adspersa (Castelnau 1878)    besprinkled, referring to small, rounded, dark-brown spots covering body                               

Mogurnda aiwasoensis Allen & Renyaan 1996    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Aiwaso, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, type locality                                

Mogurnda arguni Allen & Hadiaty 2014    named for Arguni Bay, West Papua, Indonesia, general type locality                       

Mogurnda aurifodinae Whitley 1938    aurum, gold or auriger, gold-bearing; fodina, mine, i.e., of a gold mine, referring to the goldfields of Bulolo, Papua New Guinea, type locality [spelling often wrongly “corrected” to aurofodinae]                                  

Mogurnda cingulata Allen & Hoese 1991    girdled or banded, referring to ~10 dark brown or grayish bars extending down on upper of sides with lighter areas between bars                        

Mogurnda clivicola Allen & Jenkins 1999    clivus, hill; –cola, inhabitant of, referring to its habitat in the stream-side valleys of Flinders Ranges, near Balcanoona, South Australia                   

Mogurnda furva Allen & Hoese 1986    dark, swarthy or black, referring to its characteristic coloration                   

Mogurnda kaifayama Allen & Jenkins 1999    named for Lake Kaifayama, Irian Jaya (West Papua), Indonesia, type locality                   

Mogurnda kaimana Allen & Hadiaty 2014    named for Kaimana, capital of Kaimana Regency, West Papua, Indonesia, where type locality is situated                                   

Mogurnda kutubuensis Allen & Hoese 1986     ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Kutubu, Papua New Guinea, type locality                      

Mogurnda larapintae (Zietz 1896)    of Larapinta, Arrernte Aborigine name for Finke River ( Northern Territory, Australia), in whose tributaries this goby was collected                               

Mogurnda lineata Allen & Hoese 1991    lined or striped, referring to dark-brown to nearly blackish midlateral stripe between bases of pectoral and caudal fins                                  

Mogurnda maccuneae Jenkins, Buston & Allen 2000    in honor of evolutionary biologist Amy McCune, Cornell University, “whose teaching and research in the field of ichthyology are truly inspirational”                          

Mogurnda magna Allen & Renyaan 1996    large, referring to its size, “which far exceeds” that of any congener                             

Mogurnda malsmithi Allen & Jebb 1993    in honor of Malcolm Smith, owner, Pacific Helicopters, Ltd., who generously donated the use of one of his aircraft, which helped the authors collect this species

Mogurnda mbuta Allen & Jenkins 1999    named for Lake Mbuta basin, Irian Jaya (West Papua), Indonesia, type locality                                  

Mogurnda mogurnda (Richardson 1844)    native name for this species at Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia, type locality                                 

Mogurnda mosa Jenkins, Buston & Allen 2000    local Foe (Papua New Guinea) name for this species                               

Mogurnda oligolepis Allen & Jenkins 1999    oligos, few; lepis, scale, referring to low lateral scale count compared to M. mogurnda, the other species in the area                     

Mogurnda orientalis Allen & Hoese 1991    eastern, the most easternly member of the genus in New Guinea                        

Mogurnda pardalis Allen & Renyaan 1996    spotted, referring to its dominant color pattern feature                    

Mogurnda pulchra Horsthemke & Staeck 1990    beautiful, referring to color pattern, with blue blotches and red spots along middle of body and females with tangerine bellies                  

Mogurnda spilota Allen & Hoese 1986    stained or spotted, referring to color pattern in life, comprising ~10 irregular-shaped white blotches (about eye size) along middle of side from upper corner of operculum to base of caudal fin                             

Mogurnda thermophila Allen & Jenkins 1999    thermos, heat; philo, to love, referring to its occurrence in the complex of thermal artesian springs at Dalhousie, South Australia

Mogurnda variegata Nichols 1951    variegated, presumably referring to its varied color pattern, a maze of large dark brown blotches on a tan or yellowish ground, with dark brown spoke-like bands radiating from lower and posterior edge of eye                   

Mogurnda vitta Allen & Hoese 1986    ribbon, band or stripe, referring to broad white stripe from upper edge of operculum to base of caudal fin, bordered above and below with dark brown stripes, nearly equal in width to white stripe and joining at caudal base                           

Mogurnda wapoga Allen, Jenkins & Renyaan 1999    named for the Wapoga drainage system, Irian Jaya (West Papua), Indonesia, where it is endemic                               

Paraxenisthmus Gill & Hoese 1993    para-, near, referring to its similarity to Xenisthmus                              

Paraxenisthmus cerberusi Winterbottom & Gill 2006    named after Cerberus, three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades in Greek mythology, referring to its “relatively toothy attributes,” and to black juveniles and red-and-black adults, colors that are “often associated with the darkness and flames of the Christian concept of the Underworld”                           

Paraxenisthmus springeri Gill & Hoese 1993    in honor of ichthyologist Victor G. Springer (b. 1928), U.S. National Museum, for his contributions to the systematics of xenisthmine and other fishes                      

Philypnodon Bleeker 1874    odon, teeth, referring to teeth on palatine and tongue (although modern accounts seem to dispute this), compared to their absence on the closely related Philypnus (=Gobiomorus) [note: philypnus means “sleep-loving,” apparently reflecting the “sleeper” or “dormeur” vernacular]                               

Philypnodon grandiceps (Krefft 1864)    grandis, large; ceps, head, described as “very large, broad, depressed, without any apparent scales”                   

Philypnodon macrostomus Hoese & Reader 2006    macro-, large; stomus, referring to large mouth that develops in males                   

Ratsirakia Maugé 1984    ia, belonging to: Didier Ratsiraka (b. 1933), President of Madagascar (1975-1993 and 1997-2002), where R. legendrei is endemic                     

Ratsirakia legendrei (Pellegrin 1919)    in honor of Jean Legendre, physician of the French Colonial Troops in Madagascar, who observed this goby and provided “interesting details” (translation) of its biology                                 

Rotuma Springer 1988    named for the island of Rotuma, a Fijian dependency, type locality 

Rotuma lewisi Springer 1988    in honor of Anthony D. Lewis, Fisheries Officer, Government of Fiji, for his support of Springer’s field work in Fiji                           

Tateurndina Nichols 1955    ina, adjectival suffix: Tate, named for the brothers George H. H. Tate (1884-1953), botanist and mammalogist, and Geoffrey M. Tate (1898-1964), expedition business manager and collector, Nichols’ colleagues at the American Museum of Natural History, for their participation in the Archbold Expeditions to New Guinea, during which type was collected; urnd, presumably a reference to the closely related genus Mogurnda     

Tateurndina ocellicauda Nichols 1955    ocellus, eyespot; cauda, tail, referring to a “large, conspicuous, longitudinally oval black blotch at the base of caudal, partly surrounded by a bright band across peduncle in front of it, which is now whitish, but was yellow or orange when the specimens were placed in alcohol” 

Tyson Springer 1983    named for ichthyologist Tyson R. Roberts (b. 1940), the first to collect this species (1975) and recognize its distinctiveness

Tyson belos Springer 1983    arrow, referring to its arrow-like shape

Xenisthmus Snyder 1908    xenos, strange or foreign (i.e., different), presumably referring to how edges of gill membranes of X. proriger (=clarus) are “free from the isthmus”                  

Xenisthmus africanus Smith 1958    African, referring to its occurrence off Mozambique, western Indian Ocean, identified as a separate species from its Red Sea congener, X. polyzonatus

Xenisthmus balius Gill & Randall 1994    spotted or dappled, referring to “reticulate mottling of irregular, brown to dark grey-brown melanophores” on head and body

Xenisthmus chapmani (Schultz 1966)    in honor of ichthyologist Wilbert M. Chapman (1910-1970), who collected type                                 

Xenisthmus chi Gill & Hoese 2004     22nd letter of Greek alphabet, referring to X-shaped markings on body                                  

Xenisthmus clarus (Jordan & Seale 1906)    clear, referring to its translucent, scaleless body                   

Xenisthmus eirospilus Gill & Hoese 2004    eiro, to join in lines or string together; spilos, spot or fleck, referring to prominent mid-side pattern of closely spaced dark spots                                    

Xenisthmus oligoporus Gill, Bogorodsky & Mal 2017    oligos, few; poros, hole, referring to relatively low number of sensory pores on head compared to congeners

Xenisthmus polyzonatus (Klunzinger 1871)    poly, many; zonatus, banded, referring to 12-13 broad, black crossbands on body

Xenisthmus semicinctus Gill & Hoese 2004    semi-, half; cinctum, girdle or belt, referring to dark markings on dorsal part of body


Family BUTIDAE Butid Sleepers
10 genera · 46 species                         

Bostrychus Lacepède 1801    curl or lock of hair, referring to long, tubular anterior nostrils of B. sinensis, which Lacepède apparently believed were barbels                                   

Bostrychus africanus (Steindachner 1879)    African, described from Sierra Leone (and occurring along eastern Atlantic from Senegal to Angola, including the islands of the Gulf of Guinea)                    

Bostrychus aruensis Weber 1911    ensis, suffix denoting place: Aru Island, Aru Islands, Maluku, Indonesia, type locality                                 

Bostrychus microphthalmus Hoese & Kottelat 2005    micro-, small; ophthalmus, eye, referring to its small, reduced eyes, covered with skin                          

Bostrychus scalaris Larson 2008    ladder, referring to step-ladder-like banded pattern on body                                   

Bostrychus sinensis Lacepède 1801    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sinica (China), described from a Chinese drawing (no types known)                           

Bostrychus strigogenys Nichols 1937    stria, line; genys, cheek, referring to conspicuous dark stripes on white lower part of face behind eye                    

Bostrychus zonatus Weber 1907    banded, referring to 8-9 dark bars or bands on body                                   

Butis Bleeker 1856    tautonymous with Cheilodipterus butis (see species account, below)                            

Butis amboinensis (Bleeker 1853)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ambon Island, Molucca Islands, Indonesia, type locality (occurs from India to Philippines and New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south to northern Australia)                      

Butis butis (Hamilton 1822)    etymology not explained; according to Gill & Hoese (2011), possibly derived from the Indian word buti, a decorative, circular design woven, embroidered or printed on cloth, particularly common in sari fabric, that usually contrasts vividly with the background fabric (e.g., orange, gold, yellow, red or white over a dark field color), an interpretation in keeping with Hamilton’s description of its live coloration: “[it] is of a blackish colour, with the hinder fins spotted with red, and ventrals with black. There are two red spots at the roots of the pectoral fins.”                         

Butis gymnopomus (Bleeker 1853)    gymnos, bare or naked; poma, lid or covering, referring to lack of preopercular spine, compared to Eleotris acanthopoma (Eleotridae), its presumed congener at the time                                 

Butis humeralis (Valenciennes 1837)    pertaining to the shoulder, presumably referring to black spot of base of pectoral fin

Butis koilomatodon (Bleeker 1849)    etymology not explained, perhaps koilos, hollow or cavity; mataios, empty or lacking; odon, tooth, i.e., oral cavity lacking teeth, referring to absence of canines compared to related species (Ronald Fricke, pers. comm.)                  

Butis prismatica (Bleeker 1849)    variably or brilliantly colored, presumably referring to any or all of the following: dusky green body above, lighter below; yellow transverse streak on scales; blackish first dorsal fin; membrane of other fins violet with orange rays; spotted ventral, anal and caudal fins; pectoral fin with black spot at base                                    

Incara Rao 1971    combination of letters taken from the name Indian Council of Agricultural Research                                

Incara multisquamatus Rao 1971    multi-, many; squamatus, scaled, referring to unique arrangement of ctenoid and cycloid scales on head and body and oval cycloid scales on caudal fin                                                           

Kribia Herre 1946    ia, belonging to: Kribi River, southern Cameroon, type locality of K. kribensis                                

Kribia kribensis (Boulenger 1907)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Kribi River, southern Cameroon, type locality (occurs in west-central Africa from Guinea to Congo)                                 

Kribia leonensis (Boulenger 1916)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sierra Leone, only known area of occurrence                             

Kribia nana (Boulenger 1901)    nanus, dwarf, referring to small size, described at 38 mm TL                                  

Kribia uellensis (Boulenger 1913)    ensis, suffix denoting place: upper Uelé River, Democratic Republic of Congo, type locality                          

Odonteleotris Gill 1863    odonto, teeth, referring to canine teeth on upper and lower jaws; Eleotris (Eleotridae), its presumed closest relative at the time and original genus of type species                               

Odonteleotris canina (Bleeker 1849)    referring to canine teeth on upper and lower jaws                       

Odonteleotris macrodon (Bleeker 1853)    macro-, large; odon, tooth, referring to large canine teeth on upper and lower jaws                             

Ophiocara Gill 1863    ophis, snake; cara, head, referring to large scales and flattened head of type species, O. ophicephalus (=porocephala), similar to that of snakeheads (Anabantiformes: Channidae)                          

Ophiocara macrolepidota (Bloch 1792)    macro-, large; lepidos, scaled, referring to its “distinctive” (translation) large scales                         

Ophiocara porocephala (Valenciennes 1837)    poro, hole; cephala, head, referring to four large pores along upper edge of preopercle [simultaneous synonym of Eleotris ophiocephalus; Günther (1861) apparently gave precedence to this name but porocephala may be retained per prevailing usage]

Oxyeleotris Bleeker 1874    oxys, sharp or pointed, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to head of type species, O. marmorata, which Bleeker described as pointed and depressed (“acuto, depresso”) in 1852; Eleotris, its presumed closest relative at the time and original genus of type species                       

Oxyeleotris albooculata (Herre 1927)    albus, white; oculata, eyed, the pupils of eyes “noticeably white”                                   

Oxyeleotris altipinna Allen & Renyaan 1996    altus, high; pinna, fin, referring to its higher dorsal fin compared to O. nullipora, its nearest relative                           

Oxyeleotris aruensis (Weber 1911)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Aru Island, Aru Islands, Maluku, Indonesia, type locality (also occurs off northern Australia and New Guinea)                                   

Oxyeleotris caeca Allen 1996    caecus, blind, referring to its vestigial eyes, not externally visible but still pigmented in orbit; name also reflects its common name in the Yagi language, ihaaribi, also meaning blind                                

Oxyeleotris colasi Pouyaud, Kadarusman & Hadiaty 2013    in honor of the COLAS Companies in Indonesia, which co-sponsored the Lengguru-Kaimana expedition (2010), during which type was collected                                  

Oxyeleotris fimbriata (Weber 1907)    fimbriate (having a fringe or border of hair- or fringe-like projections) on all of its fins except the first dorsal                     

Oxyeleotris herwerdenii (Weber 1910)    in honor of Capt. J. H. Hondius van Herwerden, Dutch Government Navy, for his knowledge of the coast and rivers of New Guinea, where type was collected                          

Oxyeleotris heterodon (Weber 1907)    heteros, different; odon, teeth, referring to different placement (anterior vs. posterior) of larger teeth on upper and lower jaws                   

Oxyeleotris lineolata (Steindachner 1867)    lined, referring to blackish spot in middle of scales, which form numerous longitudinal lines in the direction of the scale rows                         

Oxyeleotris marmorata (Bleeker 1852)    marbled, referring to yellowish body marbled with brown                        

Oxyeleotris mertoni (Weber 1911)    in honor of German zoologist Hugo Merton (1879-1940), who collected many fishes among the Aru Islands of Indonesia, including type of this one                     

Oxyeleotris nullipora Roberts 1978    nullus, nothing; porus, pore, apparently differing from all known congeners in lacking cephalic pores                      

Oxyeleotris paucipora Roberts 1978    paucus, few; poro, pore, referring to reduced cephalic pore system, nasal pores usually absent (a few specimens with one or two)

Oxyeleotris selheimi (Macleay 1884)    in honor of “Mr. Selheim” (forename not given), a German naturalist living in the Palmer District of Queensland, Australia, who collected type; possibly Philip Frederic Sellheim (note spelling, 1832-1899), a pastoralist and mining official who was in charge of the Palmer River goldfields                        

Oxyeleotris siamensis (Günther 1861)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Siam, or Thailand, where it appears to be endemic                      

Oxyeleotris stagnicola Allen, Hortle & Renyaan 2000    stagnum, pool of standing water; –cola, dweller or inhabitant, referring to its swamp habitat                         

Oxyeleotris urophthalmoides (Bleeker 1853)    oides, having the form of: referring to similar appearance to the closely related O. urophthalmus                              

Oxyeleotris urophthalmus (Bleeker 1851)    oura, tail; ophthalmus, eye, referring to large ocellus at upper base of caudal fin                  

Oxyeleotris wisselensis Allen & Boeseman 1982    ensis, suffix denoting place: vicinity of Tigi Lake, one of the Wissel Lakes, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, type locality                                   

Parviparma Herre 1927    parvus, small; parma, a small shield, the entire body covered with “minute cycloid scales, more or less embedded and difficult to see”                               

Parviparma straminea Herre 1927    straw-colored, referring to “straw yellow” color in alcohol                                         

Pogoneleotris Bleeker 1875    pogon, beard, presumably referring to numerous short filaments and fringes on snout and cheeks; Eleotris (Eleotridae), its presumed closest relative at the time and original genus of type species                               

Pogoneleotris heterolepis (Günther 1869)    hetero-, different; lepis, scale, referring to numerous small ctenoid scales “mixed with large ones, the smaller occupying chiefly the base of the larger”                     

Prionobutis Bleeker 1874    prion, saw, presumably referring to bony serrated crests on snout and interorbital; Butis, type genus of family                             

Prionobutis dasyrhynchus (Günther 1868)    dasys, rough; rhynchus, snout, presumably referring to preorbital and supraorbital ridges “beset with rough prominences or spines” 

Prionobutis microps (Weber 1907)    micro-, small; ops, eye, its length 8-8½ times in head, about half the length of snout                      

Prionobutis planiceps (Castelnau 1878)    planus, flat; ceps, head, referring to “broad and flat” snout [type specimen lost; possibly a senior synonym of P. microps]


Family THALASSELEOTRIDIDAE Ocean Sleepers

Grahamichthys Whitley 1956    in honor of David H. Graham, author of A Treasury of New Zealand Fishes (1953), alluding to country where only species occurs; ichthys, fish                                 

Grahamichthys radiatus (Valenciennes 1837)    rayed, allusion not explained nor evident; since French vernacular is “l’eleotris rayé” (rayé = striped), perhaps name refers to 12 brownish vertical stripes on sides                                  

Thalasseleotris Hoese & Larson 1987    thalassa, sea, referring to T. adela, described from the marine waters of southern Australia; Eleotris, presumed to be an eleotrid at the time                      

Thalasseleotris adela Hoese & Larson 1987    adelos, dim or obscure, referring to its cryptic and often dark habitat (i.e., silty, turbid waters)                  

Thalasseleotris iota Hoese & Roberts 2005    anything very small; at 32.6 mm SL (39.4 mm TL), one of New Zealand’s smallest known vertebrate species