Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Cordillera Administrative Region Easter Road, Guisad, Baguio City, Philippines
A species of goby, Lentipes armatus Sakai and Nakamura 1979, described as endemic to the Ryukyu Islands in Japan was recently discovered in the Amburayan River in Benguet, Luzon Island, Philippines. Lentipes armatus has been identified based on photographic and actual specimens from landed catch surveys in Atok, Kapangan, and Kibungan in the Province of Benguet. Morphological features, morphometric characters, and meristic counts of the collected specimens of the local population match those reported in the Ryukyu Islands in Japan. Moreover, genetic studies of the species confirmed its identification as L. armatus. Samples for the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) analysis and identification of this species were collected from the Amburayan River traversing the Municipalities of Atok, Kapangan, and Kibungan in the Province of Benguet. Therefore, the specimen described herein constitutes the first record of the species in the Cordillera. Furthermore, the occurrence of the L. armatus in the Amburayan River in the Cordillera, northern part of the Philippines, suggests its possible range expansion. The first record of the L. armatus in the Philippines was reported from the Taguibao River upstream of Sitio Bongodman (proper), in the east end of Ancicala, Province of Agusan del Norte, Mindanao Island. With this, it may also propose that the L. armatus is an indigenous fish species in the country, particularly thriving in the Amburayan River, Benguet and Taguibao River, Agusan del Norte, Philippines.