Psilotris laetarii

Common Name

Burrow Splitfin Goby

Year Described

Van Tassell & Young, 2016


Dorsal Fin: VII, 10-11
Anal Fin: 8-9
Pectoral Fin: 15-17
Caudal Fin: 17 segmented rays
Vertebrae: 11+16= 27 (total)

Body elongate with a large head. Eye medium sized. Dorsal fin with anterior spines not elongate and last two spines more spaced than the first five. Pelvic fin rays branched except for the last which is shorter than fourth and unbranched. Pelvic fins not fused or with a very small posterior membrane. Two anal-fin pterygiophores anterior to the first haemal spine. Papillae rows 5i and 5s are connected as a single row. Cephalic lateralis pores absent. Head and trunk naked. Basicaudal scales absent.


Body white with a network of golden yellow reticulations dorsally, becoming more broken and fading into the pure white belly. Yellow markings covered with black melanophores. White interspaces with much finer melanophores. Head with three obvious golden yellow bands radiating from eye. Head with fine melanophores all over. Eye white with golden spots. Dorsal fins peppered with melanophores and striped with yellow bands. Caudal fin with faint vertical yellow bands. Anal, pelvic and pectoral fins mostly unmarked. A small yellow spot on upper base of pectoral fin.


Maximum size to 23.5mm SL.


Collected on mixed sand and rubble bottoms adjacent to coral reefs. Specimens were always collected in associated with the burrows of Yellowhead Jawfish, and this species may be commensal in the burrows of this fish.


So far known only from off the Florida Keys (Marathon).


Tornabene, L., J.L. Van Tassell, R.G. Gilmore, D.R. Robertson, F. Young, & C.C. Baldwin. 2016. Molecular phylogeny, analysis of character evolution, and submersible collections enable a new classification of a diverse group of gobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Nes subgroup), including nine new species and four new genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.