Varicus cephalocellatus Gilmore, Van Tassell & Baldwin, 2016
Ocellated splitfin goby

Family:  Gobiidae (Gobies), subfamily: Gobiinae
Max. size:  3.98 cm SL (female)
Environment:  demersal; marine; depth range 114 - 159 m
Distribution:  Western Central Atlantic: southern Lesser Antilles, St. Vincent, Barbados and Bonaire.
Diagnosis:  This species can be distinguished by the following set of characters: D1 VII; D2 I,10; A I,9; P 19-20, (23.9-30.6% SL), with rays 13-16 greatly extended, reaching base of anal rays 1-3, giving fin asymmetrical appearance; fleshy exertions on tips of spinous dorsal, first six rays of second dorsal; pelvic fins well separated, with no anterior frenum and membrane connecting innermost rays, 5th pelvic-fin ray 1/4-1/5 length of 4th ray, all rays unbranched or branched internally and re-fused, with flattened fleshy tips, longest ray extending posteriorly to anal-fin origin or reaching origin of 2nd anal-fin ray; 12-23 ctenoid scales on the side of body extending anteriorly to between vertical under the middle of the 2nd dorsal fin, to just posterior of pectoral-fin base, scales becoming smaller with reduced ctenii anteriorly; presence of modified basicaudal scales; sensory papillae rows 5s and 5i connected as a continuous transverse row, separated by a distance of 1-2 papillae in two specimens; interorbital papillae pc’ and pe’ present; no cephalic lateralis pores on head or preopercle; single anal-fin pterygiophore inserted anterior to haemal arch; head is lined with 3-5 prominent yellow ocelli, extending from mouth to nape over dense field of numerous red, brown and gold chromatophores (Ref. 113825).
Biology:  Collected on a gentlly sloping sand-calcareous bottom with scattered small calcareous rocks and ledges. It is also collected from fresh volcanic deposits, a submerged pyroclastic flow, mostly rocks with thin layer of dark sediments, scattering of small rocks, ledges and various sessile invertebrates (Ref. 113825).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 09 October 2018 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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