Two new species of male mouth-brooding fish described

Two new species of jawfishes (family Opistognathidae) have been described for the first time this month. These small fish have fascinating life histories, digging burrows in sandy bottoms near reefs, and relying on males to brood eggs in their mouths. Each burrow houses one fish, and they strongly defend their burrows. The first new species, Thionyi’s jawfish (Opistognathus thionyi), is found in Vitória-Trindade Chain and Fernando de Noronha Archipelago off Brazil; while the second new species, the Brazilian dusky jawfish (Opistognathus vicinus), is found off mainland Brazil. The new species are differ externally and genetically from previously described species in the same genus, which are extensively reviewed in the published research. The paper by William Smith-Vaniz of the Florida Museum of Natural History, SAFS professor Luke Tornabene, and Raphael Macieira of the Universidade Vila Velha, Brazil, appears in the journal Zookeys.


Thiony Simon
One of the two new species, Thiony’s jawfish.
Thiony Simon
Thiony’s jawfish peering out of its burrow off Trindade Island, Brazil.
Raphael Macieira
The second new species, the Brazilian dusky jawfish.
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