Saturday, July 31, 2010

Raffles Museum Treasures: Oriental river goby

Oriental pond goby (Rhinogobius giurinus)
Introduced to Singapore

In 1966, the naturalist Eric. R Alfred published his monograph, The Fresh-water Fishes of Singapore. In it, he noted the presence of a species of goby, which he identified as Stigmatogobius poicilosoma. This identification was followed in A Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Singapore, where the "pond goby" was listed as Stigmatogobius poecilosoma. However, closer examination of the specimens that Alfred had looked at revealed that there was a misidentification; the "pond goby" found in Singapore was actually 2 species of stream goby, the big-mouth stream goby (Pseudogobiopsis oligactis) and Siam stream goby (Pseudogobiopsis siamensis). And to further muddle the situation, the fishes in the photos published in A Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Singapore were actually Oriental river gobies.

It is possible that the Oriental river goby has played a part in the decline and apparent disappearance of the stream gobies from freshwater habitats in Singapore.

Ecology Asia
An annotated checklist of the gobioid fishes of Singapore
Hong Kong Biodiversity Database

(Photo by seotaro)