California’s goby is actually two different fish | Science News

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Introducing

California’s goby is actually two different fish

Southern version gets its own name

By
6:00am, September 6, 2016
Southern tidewater goby

SEPARATE SPECIES  California's southern tidewater goby (above) has several physical and genetic differences that distinguish it from the northern tidewater goby (shown below). Both are endangered.

It’s official: The southern tidewater goby is a thing. And it’s chubbier and nubbier than its northern cousin.

Endangered tidewater gobies live in California’s seaside lagoons. Ranging roughly the entire length of the state, the fish used to be considered one species. But a new study confirms that gobies living in Northern and Southern California are physically different, and now the southern swimmer has its own name: Eucyclogobius kristinae.

The northern goby, E. newberryi, is sleeker and longer than its southern counterpart. The southern fish has more girth and more nubby sensory organs exposed atop its head, researchers report July 27 in PLOS ONE.

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