Alternate Title

Clingfishes (Gobiesocidae) from Belize and Honduras, Central America, with a Redescription of Gobiesox barbatulus Starks


Six marine species and a single freshwater species of clingfish are reported from collections made by the authors in Belize and Honduras, Central America, during the period 1970 through 1980. Acyrtops amplicirrus Briggs, Acyrtus rubiginosus (Poey), and Gobiesox barbatulus Starks are reported for the first time from the western Caribbean and Gobiesox nudus (Linnaeus) is recorded for the first time from Honduras. Acyrtops amplicirrus is tentatively recognized as distinct from A. beryllina (Hildebrand and Ginsburg). Gobiesox barbatulus Starks is distinguished from G. strumosus on the basis of development of barbels on the pre- and suborbital areas, fringing of the dermal flaps on the anterior nostrils, and more numerous and narrow lines radiating from the eye in the case of G. barbatulus. Principal components analysis of 13 morphometric characters resulted in clear separation of the two forms along the first component axis. Both species are mainland forms occurring in turbid and often brackish water. Gobiesox barbatulus is a southern form occurring from Brazil to Belize, G. strumosus is a northern form occurring from Campeche, Mexico to Virginia. The apparent distributional boundary (centered on east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico) between the two agrees with the boundary between the northern and southern continental shorefish faunas recognized by Robins (1971) and Gilbert (1973).