Michael S. Taylor
Southeast Missouri State University
The genus Elacatinus was described by David Starr Jordan in 1904, but the placement of this taxon (and the allied Tigrigobius) has since varied. Most commonly, the two taxa are included as subgenera within the genus Gobiosoma. However, morphological and ecological considerations has led one author (D. Hoese 1971, unpubl. disseration) to suggest that generic status of Elacatinus is warranted, with two included subgenera, Elacatinus and Tigrigobius. More recently, genetic studies have indicated that the relationships among species of Elacatinus and Tigrigobius are more complex than previously recognized (Rüber et al 2003; Taylor and Hellberg 2005). This complexity stems in part from the inclusion of three other genera, Evermannichthys, Ginsburgellus, and Risor within a clade of Tigrigobius species. Thus, systematic revision of Elacatinus (s.l.) seems warranted. This work is ongoing in collaboration with Jim Van Tassell of Hofstra University. I am also describing several new species of Elacatinus.
I am collaborating with Jim Van Tassell of Hofstra University to examine the genetic and morphological variation in Bollmannia. The genus is poorly known and many species are ill-defined. Our goal is to provide a clear picture of the taxonomy and systematic relationships within the genus.
The monotypic genus Risor is distributed widely throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean. In the past, Risor ruber has been considered to be three different species, based on morphological variation. I am performing a phylogeographic study of this species to determine whether genetic differences coincide with discrete morphological differences (collaboration with Jim Van Tassell of Hofstra University).
Elacatinus randalli photo copyright © Paul Humann with Marine Life Images.