Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2023-03-27
Page range: 113-129
Abstract views: 253
PDF downloaded: 42

How many valid Pleurosicya (Teleostei: Gobiidae) species are known from the Red Sea?

School of Zoology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, 69778.
3Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum, Senckenberganlage 25, D-60325, Frankfurt a. M., Germany.
2The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel, 69778.
Pisces Systematics mitochondrial COI gobies commensal Egypt


Four species of the gobiid genus Pleurosicya are reported from the Red Sea: P. bilobata, P. mossambica, P. plicata, and P. prognatha. Pleurosicya bilobata is reported as a new record for the Red Sea based on underwater photographs taken from a seagrass area at Dahab, Egypt, Gulf of Aqaba. A previous Red Sea record of P. micheli, a species occurring from Indonesia to French Polynesia, is based on a misidentification of P. mossambica and can be excluded as the Red Sea species. Phylogenetic COI barcode analysis showed that the genetic distance between Red Sea population and Western Indian Ocean specimens of P. mossambica is low, confirming the synonymy of P. sinaia, described from the Red Sea, with P. mossambica. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that specimens from the western Pacific under the name P. mossambica are genetically distinct and may represent an undescribed species. Brief descriptions accompanied with underwater photographs are provided for four species of Pleurosicya from the Red Sea.



  1. Akel, E.H. & Karachle, P.K. (2017) The marine ichthyofauna of Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, 21 (3), 81–116.
    Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Brooks, W.M. (2018) A new species of Tomiyamichthys shrimpgoby (Pisces: Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 31, 38–46.
    Birdsong, R.S., Murdy, E.O. & Pezold, F.L. (1988) A study of the vertebral column and median fin osteology in gobioid fishes with comments on gobioid relationships. Bulletin of Marine Science, 42 (2), 174–214.
    Bogorodsky, S., Kovačić, M. & Larson, H.K. (2010) The first records of four gobies (Pisces: Gobiidae) in the Red Sea. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology, 16 (3), 117–128.
    Debelius, H. (2011) Red Sea Reef Guide. Fifth revised Edition. IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv, Frankfurt, 321 pp.
    Fricke, R., Golani, D. & Appelbaum-Golani, B. (2015) First record of the toothy goby, Pleurosicya mossambica, from Israel, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea, and status of P. sinaia (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Gobiidae). Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria, 45 (2), 217–219.
    Golani, D. & Bogorodsky, S.V. (2010) The fishes of the Red Sea-reappraisal and updated checklist. Zootaxa, 2463 (1), 1–135.
    Golani, D. & Fricke, R. (2018) Checklist of the Red Sea fishes with delineation of the Gulf of Suez, Gulf of Aqaba, endemism and Lessepsian migrants. Zootaxa, 4509 (1), 1–215.
    Goren, M. (1984) Three new species and two new records for the Red Sea of invertebrate associated gobies (Gobiidae, Pisces). Cybium, 8 (1), 71–82.
    Goren, M. & Stern, N. (2021) Cryptocentrus steinhardti (Actinopterygii; Gobiidae): a new species of shrimp-goby, and a new invasive to the Mediterranean Sea. PeerJ, 9, e12136.
    Greenfield, D.W. & Randall, J.E. (2004) The marine gobies of the Hawaiian Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 55 (27), 498–549.
    Guindon, S., Dufayard, J.F., Lefort, V., Anisimova, M., Hordijk, W. & Gascuel, O. (2010) New algorithms and methods to estimate maximum-likelihood phylogenies: assessing the performance of PhyML 3.0. Systematic Biology, 59 (3), 307–321.
    Hall, T.A. (1999) BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT. Nucleic Acids Symposium Series, 41, 95–98.
    Herler, J. & Hilgers, H. (2005) A synopsis of coral and coral-rock associated gobies (Pisces: Gobiidae) from the Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology, 10 (3), 103–132.
    Herler, J., Koblmüller, S. & Sturmbauer, C. (2009) Phylogenetic relationships of coral-associated gobies (Teleostei, Gobiidae) from the Red Sea based on mitochondrial DNA data. Marine Biology, 156 (4), 725–739.
    Hoang, D.T., Chernomor, O., Haeseler, A.V., Minh, B.Q. & Vinh, L.S. (2018) UFBoot2: Improving the Ultrafast Bootstrap Approximation. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35 (2), 518–522.
    Jeon, H.-B., Choi, S.-H. & Suk, H.Y. (2012) Exploring the Utility of Partial Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit 1 for DNA Barcoding of Gobies. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity, 28 (4), 269–278.
    Kalyaanamoorthy, S., Minh, B.Q., Wong, T.K.F., Haeseler, A.V. & Jermiin, L.S. (2017) ModelFinder: Fast model selection for accurate phylogenetic estimates. Nature Methods, 14, 587–589.
    Keith, P., Lord, C., Lorion, J., Watanabe, S., Tsukamoto, K., Couloux, A. & Dettai, A. (2011) Phylogeny and biogeography of Sicydiinae (Teleostei: Gobiidae) inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Marine Biology, 158, 311–326.
    Knebelsberger, T. & Thiel, R. (2014) Identification of gobies (Teleostei: Perciformes: Gobiidae) from the North and Baltic Seas combining morphological analysis and DNA barcoding, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 172 (4), 831–845.
    Koumans, F. P. (1941) Gobioid fishes of India. Memoirs of the Indian Museum, 13 (3), 205–329.
    Kumar, S., Stecher, G., Li, M., Knyaz, C. & Tamura, K. (2018) MEGA X: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis across computing platforms. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 35, 1547–1549.
    Larson, H.K. (1990) A revision of the commensal gobiid fish genera Pleurosicya and Luposicya (Gobiidae), with descriptions of eight new species of Pleurosicya and discussion of related genera. Beagle: Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, 7 (1), 1–53.
    Larson, H.K. (2022) Suborder Gobioidei. In: Heemstra, P.C., Heemstra, E., Ebert, D.A., Holleman, W. & Randall, J.E. (Eds.), Coastal fishes of the Western Indian Ocean. Vol. 5. South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Makhanda, pp. 18–202.
    Nguyen, L.T., Schmidt, H.A., Haeseler, A.V. & Minh B.Q. (2015) IQ-TREE: A fast and effective stochastic algorithm for estimating maximum likelihood phylogenies. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32 (1), 268–274.
    Randall, J.E. (1995) Coastal fishes of Oman. Crawford House Publishing Pty Ltd, Bathurst, xvi + 439 pp.
    Smith, J.L.B. (1959) Gobioid fishes of the families Gobiidae, Periophthalmidae, Trypauchenidae, Taenioididae and Kraemeriidae of the western Indian Ocean. Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, 13, 185–225.
    Trifinopoulos, J., Nguyen, L.T., von Haeseler, A. & Minh, B.Q. (2016) W-IQ-TREE: a fast online phylogenetic tool for maximum likelihood analysis. Nucleic Acids Research, 44 (W1), W232–W235.
    Ward, R.D., Hanner, R. & Hebert, P.D.N. (2009) The campaign to DNA barcode all fishes, FISH-BOL. Journal of Fish Biology, 74, 329–356.