Oxyeleotris caeca

Allen 1996







Known only from one specimen, the holotype: WAM P. 31011-001, female, 107.0mm SL.


Known only from the type locality: a small stream near Kafa, a tributary of the Mubi River, Upper Kikori River System, Papua New Guinea (c. 6o34.5’S, 143o29.5’E). This steam originates from a cave 100m upstream of where the fish was collected. The whole area has a well developed karst topography with many caves. Allen (1996) records that these fishes are often caught in surface streams during the wet season when water levels are high. Given its stygomorphic facies there is no reason to suppose that it is not a true hypogean fish.


There are no published details of the true hypogean habitat.


Most closely related to Oxyeleotris fimbriata, one of the most widespread gudgeons in Papua New Guinea.

Kuang et al. (2018) used molecular markers to study the internal structure of the Suborder Gobioidei which contains within it eleven Families. They demonstrated that Milyeringidae is sister Family to a group of four  Families: Oxudercidae+Gobiidae+Butidae+ Eleotridae and is only disttantly related to four others: Odontobutidae, Rhyacichthyidae, Apogonidae and Kurtidae (samples from Thalasseleotridae and Trichonotidae were not availabe for analysis).

Conservation Status

TLO [VU D2:3.1:2019]

The subterranean karst system is in difficult terrain for mining, oil palm extraction, oil and gas drilling etc. (Helen Larson pers. comm. 12/2019).

Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Allen, G.R. Journal Article 1996 Oxyeleotris caeca, a new species of blind cave fish (Eleotridae) from Papua New Guinea
Geoffroy, J.-J. Book Section 2001 Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinee
Kuang, T., Tornabene, L., Lia, J., Jiang, J., Chakrabarty, P., Sparks, J.S., Naylor, G.J.P. and Lia, C. Journal Article 2018 Phylogenomic analysis on the exceptionally diverse fish clade Gobioidei (Actinopterygii: Gobiiformes) and data-filtering based on molecular clocklikeness