Redescription of the gobiid fish Coryphopterus lipernes Böhlke and Robins : with notes on its habits and relationships. American Museum novitates ; no. 2616

Supplemental Materials
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History
The bluenose goby, Coryphopterus lipernes Böhlke and Robins, was described in 1962 from three specimens collected in the Florida Keys; it has remained poorly known since that time. Recent collections and observations indicate that this species is widespread in the caribbean and Bahamas but at low population densities wherever it occurs. It is also one of the few species of western Atlantic reef fishes that lives in relatively continuous close physical contact with live corals. All the individuals, observed at night and during the day, spent most of the time resting on live corals, with only a few brief forays onto nearby algal mats, or off the coral to feed. In this respect the bluenose goby is an ecological counterpart of the Indo-Pacific clownfishes (Amphiprion). The mechanism by which the bluenose goby avoids being stung by the nematocysts of the coelenterates may not be the same as that of the clownfishes because clownfishes become acclimated to individual anemones, whereas the bluenose goby can move freely back and forth among coral colonies of both the same and different species. Other species of fishes associated with live corals in the West Indies share with the bluenose goby certain features that we interpret to be specializations for this way of life. Within the genus Coryphopterus, two divergent lineages show progressive specialization toward coral-dwelling, on the one hand, and toward sand-dwelling, on the other.
10 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 10).