The gobiid fishes of temperate Macaronesia (eastern Atlantic)



Eight species of gobiid fishes have been recorded from the islands comprising temperate Macaronesia (Azores, Canaries, Madeira and Salvages), These are (iohius niger L., G. auralus Risso, G. gasteveni Miller, G. paganellus L., Lesueurigobius heterojaseiatus Maul, Mauligobius maderensis (Valenciennes) and Thorogobius ephinppiatus (Lowe), with L. suerii (Risso) remaining unconfirmed. The identification, records, characteristics, and habitat of these species in the Macaronesian islands are considered. The genus Mauligobius Miller is fully defined and the type-species, Gobius maderensis Valenciennes, endemic to Madeira and the Canaries, described in detail. The transfer of the little-known West African Gobius nigri Günther to Mauligobius is suggested. Phylogenetic discussion of Mauligobius, in relation to Atlantic-Mediterranean and Ponto-Caspian forms, indicates its position as the sister group to Gobius. The modern Macaronesian gobiid fauna seems to be derived from the warm-temperate eastern Atlantic-Mediterranean marine province. The presumed absence of M. maderensis from the Azores, and the pattern of meristic variation in Gobius paganellus, support the view that the continental rise islands do not have a direct faunal interrelationship with the Azores, and that common possession of Atlantic-Mediterranean species reflects supply from the same outside source rather than by interchange. The likelihood of finding more gobiid species in Macaronesia is noted. A model of speciation in Mauligobius. in relation to hydrographic events, is suggested.

Appendix 1 summarizes features of marking and head lateral-line system useful for distinguishing juvenile G. paganellus and M. maderensis. Appendix 11 provides a redescription of the holotype of Gobius nigri. and a discussion of geographical occurrence, habitat, and affinities for this species.