Nine Potentiall New Species Discovered in Bali

New Manonichthys Dottyback Species

Potentially new species identified during a 2011 Marine Rapid Assessment Program survey in Bali. Manonichthys adult new dottyback © Conservation International/Gerald Allen

Recently, news about nine potentially new species being discovered in Indonesia has surfaced. A two week long marine survey was conducted by Conservation International at the request of the Bali government and the Department of Fisheries and Marine Affairs. The goal of the survey was to assess reef health and provide recommendations for 25 areas that were proposed to be marine protected areas. Scientists from this survey and a previous one documented a total of 953 species of reef fish and 397 species of coral in the waters off the coast of Bali. Of all these species, nine of them are potentially new to the scientific community. The new species include two types of cardinalfish, two dottybacks, a previously unknown Euphyllia, a garden eel, a new sand perch, a fang blenny, and lastly a new goby species. Despite initial indications that all nine of these species are new, more study will need to be done to confirm this.

Getting back to the survey, over 33 sites all around Bali were thoroughly explored. According to the researchers, the overall health of the reefs was better than in previous years, indicating that they were in a recovery phase. Despite this, it was observed that commercially important fish were still severely depleted. These included sharks and Napoleon wrasses, both of which would be common on healthy reefs. Plastic pollution was present, and the surveyors noted that fishermen were harvesting from some no-take zones.

For more information on the survey and its results, please visit Conservation International. More images of the potential new species can be seen below.


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