Taenioides kentalleni , Edward O. Murdy & John E. Randall, 2002

Edward O. Murdy & John E. Randall, 2002, Taenioides kentalleni, a new species of eel goby from Saudi Arabia (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae)., Zootaxa 93, pp. 1-6: 2-4

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Taenioides kentalleni


Taenioides kentalleni  ZBK  sp.nov.

(Fig. 1; Table 1)

Holotype: USNM 365692, 198.2mm SL, female, collected 14 January 1998 at Ras Az Zawr Bay, north of Jubail , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Diagnosis. A species of Taenioides  ZBK  with a long and slender body (body depth/SL = 4%), total dorsal-fin elements 72, anal-fin elements 65, and caudal vertebrae 35. Second dorsal and anal fins edged in black, caudal fin almost entirely black.

Description. Total dorsal-fin elements 72; first and second dorsal fins continous; first dorsal fin with six flexible spines; all rays of second dorsal fin segmented and branched; dorsal-fin base long and broadly joined with caudal fin. Total anal-fin rays 65, all segmented and branched; anal-fin height slightly less than second dorsal-fin height; anal-fin membrane narrowly joined with caudal fin. Pectoral fin with 20-21 rays, rounded posteriorly, pectoral-fin length 36% of pelvic-fin length; all pectoral-fin rays segmented and most are branched. Pelvic-fin rays I, 5, with well developed frenum and connecting membrane forming cup-shaped disc. Caudal fin very short, representing less than 5% of total length.

Head and body compressed. Scales absent on both head and body. Teeth in outermost row of jaws enlarged, sharp and pointed; when mouth closed, outermost teeth interlock. Upper and lower jaws with 2 rows of teeth posterolaterally and 3-4 rows anteromedially. No caninoid teeth internal to symphysis of lower jaw. Outer-row teeth larger than teeth of inner row(s); outer row teeth of lower jaw longer than those of upper-jaw; 12 teeth in outer row of upper jaw; 9 teeth in outer row of lower jaw. No palatine nor vomerine teeth present.

Mouth large and almost vertical. Tongue thick. Isthmus narrow.

Eye rudimentary, but distinct, covered by skin.

Cephalic sensory canals and pores absent. Papillae on head located on raised dermal folds. Twenty-five vertical rows of papillae, some paired, extend from the pectoral-fin base to the caudal peduncle.

Five pairs of short, thin barbels on ventral surface of head. Spinous dorsal-fin pterygiophore formula 3-12210; Y-shaped, second anal fin pterygiophore present. Precaudal vertebrae 10, caudal vertebrae 35.

Selected morphometric measurements are as follows: SL/total length = 0.951; head length (HL)/SL = 0.121; pelvic-fin length (PEL)/SL = 0.070; PEL/HL = 0.575; pectoralfin length (PEC)/SL = 0.026; PEC/HL = 0.209; PEC/PEL = 0.363; head width/SL = 0.050; snout length/SL = 0.025; jaw length/SL = 0.030; interorbital width/SL = 0.018; nape width/SL = 0.042; body depth/SL = 0.040; predorsal length/SL = 0.157; prepelvic length/ SL = 0.144; and preanal length/SL = 0.250.

Coloration. Based on a color photograph of the only specimen after it had been collected, head and body bluish gray, darker posteriorly. No markings on head or body. Spinous dorsal fin translucent. Distal margin of soft dorsal and anal fins black with blackened area increasing posteriorly on both fins. Black continuing onto caudal fin with only a small basal portion of the caudal fin not being black. Basal portions of pectoral and pelvic fins yellowish, remainder of fins translucent.

Distribution. Type and only known locality is Ras Az Zawr Bay, north of Gulf coast of Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Holotype was collected at the mouth of its burrow on a tidally exposed mudflat.

Etymology. This species is named for Kent Allen, who collected and photographed the only known specimen.

Comparison with congeners. Taenioides  ZBK  is in need of revision. As such, we are aware of 13 nominal species that conform to the definition of Taenioides  ZBK  (Birdsong et al. 1988) and none of them has been recorded from the Arabian Gulf (Kuronuma and Abe, 1986 and Table 1). Of these 13 nominal species, published information on selected meristic counts exists for 11 of them, and type specimens were available for seven. Radiographs were made and examined for the seven type specimens. We note that neither published data nor type material exists for T. hermannii Lacepede  ZBK  (1800), which was synonymized with T. anguillaris (Linnaeus  1758) by Koumans (1953) and Bauchot et al. (1991).

Based on published data and/or data gleaned from radiographs of type specimens, T. kentalleni  ZBK  has greater numbers of dorsal- and anal-fin elements, and vertebrae (72, 65, and 45, respectively) than any of the nominal species of Taenioides  ZBK  for which we have data. With respect to the number of total dorsal-fin elements, the type of T. eruptionis  (RMNH 4806) comes closest to T. kentalleni  ZBK  with 56 total dorsal-fin elements (16 fewer than T. kentalleni  ZBK  ); all other nominal species have 51 or fewer. For total anal-fin elements, T. eruptionis  , T. esquivel  ZBK  (holotype, RUSI 261) and T. gracilis  (holotype, MNHN A.1465) come closest to T. kentalleni  ZBK  (65) with 48; all other nominal species have 47 or fewer. For total vertebrae, the paralectotype of T. snyderi  ZBK  (CAS 106638) has 32, 13 fewer than T. kentalleni  ZBK  ; all other nominal species have 30 or fewer. As the numbers of dorsal- and anal-fin elements, and vertebrae in T. kentalleni  ZBK  differ markedly from the other nominal species of Taenioides  ZBK  , we believe it is appropriate to recognize T. kentalleni  ZBK  as a valid species of Taenioides  ZBK  even though we have only a single specimen and the genus is unresolved with respect to its constituent species.


USA, Washington D.C., National Museum of Natural History, [formerly, United States National Museum]