Zoological Studies

Vol. 55, 2016

(update: 2016.8.3)

The Recognition and Molecular Phylogeny of Mugilogobius mertoni Complex (Teleostei: Gobiidae), with Description of a New Cryptic Species of M. flavomaculatus from Taiwan


Shih-Pin Huang1, I-Shiung Chen2, Mana M. N. Yung3, and Kwang-Tsao Shao1,*

1Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan. E-mail: huangshihpin@gmail.com
2Institute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Jhongjheng, Keelung 20224, Taiwan. E-mail: zhangyy@bnu.edu.cn
3School of Biological Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China. E-mail: yungmana@gmail.com

(Received 17 July 2015; Accepted 15 June 2016)

Shih-Pin Huang, I-Shiung Chen, Mana M. N. Yung, and Kwang-Tsao Shao (2016) Mugilogobius mertoni (Weber, 1911) is considered as a widely distributed species around the Indo- West Pacific region, and several nominal species are considered as junior synonyms of M. mertoni. However, in our recent study, several different morphological types of M. mertoni were observed, they were collected from Taiwan, Palau and Phuket Island. This study aimed to investigate the taxonomic status of those M. mertoni-like individuals, we also attempted to assess their phylogenetic relationship base on combined mitochondrial DNA ND5, Cyt b and D-loop sequences. The present morphological and molecular evidences suggested that the current M. mertoni could be regarded as a species complex, and several cryptic species might be included in M. mertoni complex. One of these which collected from Taiwan is described as a new species, Mugilogobius flavomaculatus n. sp. based on both morphological and molecular evidence in this study. The phylogenetic tree also revealed that M. flavomaculatus n. sp. is the closest to M. mertoni. M. flavomaculatus n. sp. and its sister species M. mertoni are found to have different niches in the same estuary. Moreover, stable morphological characters and nuclear gene RAG2 also clearly show that no hybridization is detected in between M. flavomaculatus n. sp. and M. mertoni. Except the present new species, taxonomic status of all junior synonyms refers to M. mertoni are also discussed.

Key words: Mugilogobius, New species, Taxonomy, Phylogeny, Mitochondrial DNA.

Shih-Pin Huang and I-Shiung Chen contributed equally to this work.
*Correspondence: E-mail: zoskt@gate.sinica.edu.tw