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Microdesmidae
WORMFISHES
Worm gobies

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Clarkichthys
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Clarkichthys
Clarkichthys bilineatus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Clarkichthys bilineatus

Microdesmus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Microdesmus
Microdesmus knappi
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Microdesmus knappi

Microdesmus dorsipunctatus
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Microdesmus dorsipunctatus
Cerdale ionthas
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Cerdale ionthas

Ptereleotris
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Ptereleotris
Ptereleotris carinata
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Ptereleotris carinata

Clarkichthys bilineatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Clarkichthys bilineatus
Clarkichthys bilineatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Clarkichthys bilineatus

Clarkichthys bilineatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Clarkichthys bilineatus
Clarkichthys bilineatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Clarkichthys bilineatus

Microdesmus affinis
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Microdesmus affinis
Microdesmus dipus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Microdesmus dipus

Microdesmidae
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Microdesmidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • body very elongate
  • dorsal fin not divided
  • dorsal fin and a: bases very long
  • lower jaw heavy, protruding
  • pelvics small, under pectorals
  • no ll
FAMILY MICRODESMIDAE

WORM GOBIES, WORM-FISHES

Microdesmidae have slender elongate bodies, small eyes, small embedded smooth scales, no lateral line, a lower jaw that usually protrudes, a long-based dorsal fin that is continuous with X-XXVIII flexible spines and 28-66 soft rays, an anal fin with 23-61 soft rays, and minute pelvic fins, each consisting of one spine and 2-4 rays. Microdesmids live over rubble and mud bottoms, taking refuge in burrows when danger threatens. Most species are small, usually under 15 cm total length. They feed mainly on tiny benthic crustaceans.

The family Microdesmidae is circumtropical and is composed of five genera with about 30 species. In our region there are 13 species three genera; all the species and one genus are endemic.


References
  • Birdsong , R. S. , Murdy , E. O. and Pezold, F. L., 1988., A study of the vertebral column and median fin osteology in gobioid fishes with comments on gobioid relationships., Bull. Mar. Sci., 42:174-214.
  • Bussing, W.A., 2001., Ptereleotris carinata, a new species of hovering goby (Perciformes: Microdesmidae) from the tropical eastern Pacific., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 49(Supplement 1):133-139.
  • Castri-Aguirre, J.L., Espinoza-Pérez, H. and Schmitter-Soto, J.J., 2002., Lista sitemática, biogeográfica y ecológica de la ictiofauna estuarino lagunar y vicaria de México. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:117-142.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L., 1999., Ictiofauna estuarino-lagunar y vicaria de México., Editorial Limusa S.A. de C.V.: 1-629pp.
  • Clark, H.W., 1936., The Templeton Crocker Expedition of the California Academy of Sciences.1932. No. 29. New and noteworthy fishes., Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (Series 4), 4:21(29):383-396.
  • Dawson, C.E., 1968., Eastern Pacific wormfishes, Microdesmus dipus Gunther and Microdesmus dorsipunctatus sp.nov., Copeia, 1968(1):512-531.
  • Dawson, C.E., 1972., A new eastern Pacific wormfish, Microdesmus knappi (Pisces: Microdesmidae)., Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., 85(15):191-204.
  • Dawson, C.E., 1974., A review of the Microdesmidae (Pisces: Gobioidea).1.Cerdale and Clarkichthys with descriptions of three new species., Copeia, 1974(2):409-448.
  • Findley, L.T., Hendrickx, M.E., Brusca, R.C., van der Heiden, A.M., Hastings, P.A., Torre, J., 2003., Diversidad de la Macrofauna Marina del Golfo de California, Mexico., CD-ROM versión 1.0. Projecto de la Macrofauna del Golfo .  Derechos reservados de los autores y Conservación Internacional.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Galván-Magaña, F., Gutiérrez-Sánchez, F., Abitia-Cárdenas, L.A., Rodríguez-Romero, J., 2000., The distribution and affinities of the shore fishes of the Baja California Sur lagoons. In Aquatic Ecosystems of Mexico: Status and Scope. Eds. M. Manuwar, S.G. Lawrence, I.F. Manuwar & D.F. Malley. Ecovision World Monograph Series., Backhuys Publishers:383-398.
  • Gilbert, C.R., 1966., Two new Wormfishes (family Microdesmidae) from Costa Rica., Copeia, 1966(1):325-332.
  • Günther, A., 1864., On some new species of Central American fishes., Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 14:227-232.
  • Jordan , D.S. and Evermann, B.W., 1898., The fishes of North and Middle America: a descriptive catalogue of the species of fish-like vertebrates found in the waters of North America, north of the Isthmus of Panama. Part III., Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus., 47:2183-3136.
  • Jordan , D.S. and Gilbert, C.H., 1882., Descriptions of nineteen new species of fishes from the Bay of Panama., Bull. U.S. Fish Comm., 1:306-335.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • Meek , S.E. and Hildebrand, S.F., 1928., The marine fishes of Panama. Part III., Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. Publ., XV:709-1045.
  • Myers , G.S. and Wade, C.B., 1946., New fishes of the families Dactyloscopidae, Microdesmidae and Antennariidae from the west coast of Mexico and the Galapagos Islands with a brief account of the use of rotenone fish poisons in Ichthyological collecting., Allan Hancock Pacific Expeditions, 9(6):151-179.
  • Nelson, J.S., 1984., Fishes of the World (Third edition)., John Wiley and Sons:523pp.
  • Reid, E.D., 1936., Revision of the fishes of the family Microdesmidae, with descriptions of a new species., Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., 84(3002):55-72.
  • Rubio , R. E. A. and Estupiñan, F., 1990., Ictiofauna del Parque Nacional Natural Sanquianga, un Analisis de su Estructura y Perspectivas para su Manejo., Memorias del VII Seminario Nacional de las Ciencias y Tecnologías del Mar. Comisión Colombiana de Oceanografía. Bogota, Colombia., :660-670.
  • Rubio, E.A., 1986., Notas sobre la ictiofauna de la Isla de Gorgona, Colombia., Boletin Ecotropica. Univ. Bog. Jorge Tadeo Lozano, 13:86-112.
  • Thacker, C., 2000., Phylogeny of the wormfishes (Teleostei: Gobioidei: Microdesmidae)., Copeia, 2000:940-957.
  • Thomson , D.A. , Findley , L.T. and Kerstitch, A.N., 2000., Reef fishes of the Sea of Cortez., University of Texas Press(Revised Ed.):353.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.

Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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