Varicus nigritus

Common Name

Banded Splitfin Goby

Year Described

Gilmore, Van Tassell & Baldwin, 2016


Dorsal Fin: VII, 10
Anal Fin: 9
Pectoral Fin: 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 elongate and last two spines more spaced than the first five. Pectoral fin with lower rays elongate and reaching anal fin. Pelvic fin rays un-branched or branched and re-fused, with the last much shorter than fourth and unbranched. Pelvic rays with flat, fleshy tips. Pelvic fins not fused; extending to anal fin base. One anal-fin pterygiophore anterior to the first haemal spine. Papillae rows 5i and 5s are connected as a single row. Cephalic lateralis pores absent. Extent of squamation unknown as preserved holotype lacks intact scales on body but a scale was noted under the dorsal fin and pockets are present. Two basicaudal scales present.


Body whitish with a bold pattern of four large dark blotches on the side posterior to the pectoral fin base. Blotches almost take up the entire side and are black grading into yellowish borders. There are three dark bars on the head with the first passing through the eye and the other two crossing the cheek and opercle. Fins almost completely white except for a median yellow stripe on the second dorsal, a broad dark margin on the anal fin, and a darkish lower caudal lobe.


Holotype measures 35.4mm SL.


The only known specimen was captured off the Bahamas (San Salvador) at 244m depth over calcareous rubble and mixed large rock substrate.


Known only from the Bahamas.


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.