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A review of the Eviota zebrina complex, with descriptions of four new species (Teleostei, Gobiidae)
The Eviota zebrina complex includes eight species of closely-related dwarfgobies, four of which are herein described as new. The complex is named for Eviota zebrina Lachner & Karnella, 1978, an Indian Ocean species with the holotype from the Seychelles Islands and also known from the Maldives, which was once thought to range into the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea eastward to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Our analysis supports the recognition of four genetically distinct, geographically non-overlapping, species within what was previously called E. zebrina, with E. zebrina being restricted to the Indian Ocean, E. marerubrum sp. nov. described from the Red Sea, E. longirostris sp. nov. described from western New Guinea, and E. pseudozebrina sp. nov. described from Fiji. The caudal fin of all four of these species is crossed by oblique black bars in preservative, but these black bars are absent from the four other species included in the complex. Two of the other species within the complex, E. tetha and E. gunawanae are morphologically similar to each other in having the AITO cephalic-sensory pore positioned far forward and opening anteriorly. Eviota tetha is known from lagoonal environments in Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Ampat, West Papua, and E. gunawanae is known only from deeper reefs (35–60 m) from Fakfak Regency, West Papua. The final two species are E. cometa which is known from Fiji and Tonga and possesses red bars crossing the caudal fin (but lost in preservative) and a 9/8 dorsal/anal-fin formula, and E. oculineata sp. nov., which is described as new from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and possesses an 8/7 dorsal/anal-fin formula and lacks red caudal bars. Eviota oculineata has been confused with E. cometa in the past.