California’s goby is actually two different fish

It’s official: The southern tidewater goby is a thing. And it’s chubbier and nubbier than its northern cousin.

Endangered tidewater gobies live in California’s seaside lagoons. Ranging roughly the entire length of the state, the fish used to be considered one species. But a new study confirms that gobies living in Northern and Southern California are physically different, and now the southern swimmer has its own name: Eucyclogobius kristinae.

The northern goby, E. newberryi, is sleeker and longer than its southern counterpart. The southern fish has more girth and more nubby sensory organs exposed atop its head, researchers report July 27 in PLOS ONE.

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