A New Genus and Species of Blind Sleeper (Teleostei: Eleotridae) from Oaxaca, Mexico: First Obligate Cave Gobiiform in the Western Hemisphere
© 2016 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Caecieleotris morrisi, new genus and species of sleeper (family Eleotridae), is described from a submerged freshwater cave in a karst region of the northern portion of the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, Río Papaloapan drainage, Gulf of Mexico basin. The new species represents the first cave-adapted sleeper known from the Western Hemisphere and is one of only 13 stygobitic gobiiforms known worldwide, with all others limited in distribution to the Indo-Pacific region. The new taxon represents a third independent evolution of a hypogean lifestyle in sleepers, the others being two species of Oxyeleotris (O. caeca and O. colasi) from New Guinea and a single species, Bostrychus microphthalmus, from Sulawesi. Caecieleotris morrisi, new species, is distinguished from epigean eleotrids of the Western Atlantic in lacking functional eyes and body pigmentation, as well as having other troglomorphic features. It shares convergent aspects of morphology with cave-dwelling species of Oxyeleotris and B. microphthalmus but differs from those taxa in lacking cephalic pores and head squamation, among other characters. Description of C. morrisi, new species, brings the total number of eleotrid species known from Mexico to 12. Seven of these, including the new species, occur on the Atlantic Slope.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Walsh, S., & Chakrabarty, P. (2016). A New Genus and Species of Blind Sleeper (Teleostei: Eleotridae) from Oaxaca, Mexico: First Obligate Cave Gobiiform in the Western Hemisphere. Copeia, 104 (2), 506-517. https://doi.org/10.1643/CI-15-275