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FAQs on Goby Identification

Related Articles: Gobies & their Relatives, Amblygobius Gobies, Genus Gobiodon Gobies, Genus Coryphopterus, Neon/Cleaner Gobies, Shrimp/Watchman Gobies, Sifter/Sleeper Gobies/Valenciennea, Sleeper Gobies/Eleotridae, Mudskippers,

Related FAQs: Gobies 1, Gobies 2, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Compatibility, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Clown Gobies, Neon Gobies, Genus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Shrimp Gobies, Sifter Gobies,

My best... to refer you to the folks/site: www.gobiidae.com for help. The description doesn't "ring a bell" right off... freshwater? Please do send your note along to Naomi R. Eventual Editor - International Goby Society Staff - Gobioid Research Institute

Marine Goby identification - 05/11/2012
Dear Sir/Mam, Hope you find some time opening this mail some time soon . Wanted to know if you and other experts on your site could help me id this marine goby ! I found these guys along the coast at low tide in Guhagar a small village in Maharashtra, India here is the exact spot where i collected these lat 17.460365, long 73.189673 . Attaching a picture of the same fish with this mail . My previous search through google didint yield the same fish. This fish looks a very little close to the searched diamond spotted goby but has a rather small mouth with black patch in the dorsal ffin and they seem to have well settled in the aqarium and pick on the sand once a while. A friend of mine from India FW expert recommended dropping u a mail for the same .
Plz do reply if possible !
Regards, Akshay Khare
wwm: Looks to be a member of the genus Coryphopterus... I don't see it amongst my pix and postings on WWM, nor on listings under the genus in your locale on the Net. Do scan the postings for the genus on Fishbase.org... either by country or family. Bob Fenner
Re Goby ID - 5/11/2012
Thank you bob for kind reply, checked with fishbase didnt find anything close to the fish i collected only the closest that resemble these is c.dicrus and c.dusipilus but again dont get this big , the largest i saw was almost 5inch +, maybe 1 day i may find the exact specie. For now Will try to find any marine expert working on gobies in india . Thank you again for your kind reply :) Regards, Akshay Khare

Re: our goby ID discussion' – 05/12/12
Dear bob,
found a very close id on the goby i mailed you as Istigobius species .
regards ,
Akshay khare
<Ahh yes! Another good match possibility. Thank you for this follow-up.

identification 6/9/11
Dear Wet Web Media
Please can you help to identify this goby?
<Mmm... is a Istigobius sp... See WWM re the genus>
I have live plants in my tropical aquarium and there are some algae growing on it. How can I remove it or prevent it?
<? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/algcontags.htm
and the linked files above>
Thank you
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Goby ID needed 5/2/11
Hey everybody,
<Hi Sameer>
This is Sameer from India, I had recently collected these gobies from our local cost near Goa, can you pls Id these Gobies in the attached pic.
<Very nice... I do think this is Istigobius ornatus or I. decoratus... yours are far more colorful than what I've seen in person or on the Net, in books>
The are very attractive in reality, they display proper sand sifting behavior, they take lumps of sand in their mouth and pump it out from their gills!
<At first I thought it might be a Valenciennea sp.>
We call them Morse-code gobies in our friend circle, any clue of its genus or species would be really helpful.
Sameer kehimkar
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Unidentified Goby 5/2/10
Hi Crew,
We bought some live rock from the LFS recently. It had been out of the water and wrapped in wet newspaper for three or four hours before we were able to get home, strip it of sponges, etc., and store it in a quarantine tank. Lo and behold we had ourselves a stowaway fish as in the attached pictures.
<Does happen>
I don't know how, but he managed to survive all that time out of the water.
<Some fish species are very tough, this-wise... some gobies are "inter tidal"... "hopping" out of the water into the air, scurrying across rock, sand, to get to another pool of water>
The little guy is currently 18mm long and, as far as I can tell, is some kind of watchman goby. Could you tell me which species he is?
<Don't think this is a "watchman" species, but is a true goby of some sort... Am out enroute traveling currently (for 30 some hours, ugghh) and hence away from my reference works. Will place your query in MarcoL's in-folder in the hope that he can/will get to soon/er>
Thanks and kind regards,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Unidentified Goby 5/3/10
Hi Crew,
<Hi Anthony>
We bought some live rock from the LFS recently. It had been out of the water and wrapped in wet newspaper for three or four hours before we were able to get home, strip it of sponges, etc., and store it in a quarantine tank. Lo and behold we had ourselves a stowaway fish as in the attached pictures. I don't know how, but he managed to survive all that time out of the water.
The little guy is currently 18mm long and, as far as I can tell, is some kind of watchman goby. Could you tell me which species he is?
<Looks like some Eviota sp. goby. There's a number of different species, some quite hard to tell apart. Eviota queenslandica is a likely candidate
from Thailand down to Australia and Tonga, see http://www.fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=7273 (not much online picture material aside that). E. japonica looks similar, but comes from Japan. There's also E. pardalota from the Red sea and there's E. epiphanes from Japan to Hawaii. >
Thanks and kind regards, Anthony.
<Congrats to your free fish. Cheers, Marco.>

Re: Unidentified Goby, and Scutus... 5/5/10
Bob and Marco,
That looks pretty spot-on (Eviota queenslandica) for a photo match. I'll certainly let you know if he ever exceeds 2.4cm. :)
Thanks and kind regards,
PS: I got another stowaway from the same batch of live rock, too. I noticed this (a Scutus antipodes?) getting around the QT tonight (must ask the LFS where they're getting their live rock from)...
<Ah yes. Quite common. Good pix, ID. BobF>

Mystery goby 11/13/09
Hi Bob,
I came across this little chap on my travels. Does it ring any bells? Being sold as a "Zebra Goby" if that helps.
Cheers, Neale
<Mmm, just perused the several (from the ME meaning "many") pix of Gobiids posted on Fishbase.org, and didn't see anything like this... But there are many species undescribed and not pictured. I'll post on WWM and hope someone knows. Thanks for sharing nonetheless. BobF>

Re: mystery goby 11/13/09
Hi Bob,
Indeed, with 2000+ species, going through Fishbase is a bit of a chore!
Cheers, Neale
<But fun! Be chatting, BobF>

Mystery goby ID... We have a winnah! 11/14/09
The mystery goby looks like Elacatinus macrodon to me.
<Well done Alex. Thank you, BobF>
Thanks for this! Lynn sent me the same name at the precise same moment. So which of you gets the prize, I cannot say... but I do appreciate you being able to tell me what this little chap might be.
Cheers, Neale

Shrimp Goby ID 3/10/09 Hello, Crew <Hi Karrie> I was told this was a Dragon Goby by the LFS. I have searched and come up with nothing under that name .Could you please identify for me ? <Your LFS is dead wrong, is not Gobioides broussonnetii (Dragon Goby). What you have is Amblyeleotris fasciata, a Red Banded Prawn Goby.> Much appreciated <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Karrie

Mystery Hitch Hiker! 7/26/08 Last week I received a fairly large shipment of corals for my large (700 gallon) display tank. Three days ago I found this mystery hitchhiker in the sump. <You scored! Looks like a Priolepis nocturna> All corals are given a gentle bath in my tank water prior to placement. I do have screens on my overflows but a I expect my trigger (I know! but I like her and in a tank this size damage is minimal) was a bit miffed by a new occupant and chased this lovely little thing up and over. He was very happy and appeared to be thriving in the overflow. I was greatly relieved to see that he.. whoever he is.. didn't appear to be harboring any evident illnesses given no qt time! He's now safely ensconced in a qt tank, but now not eating. I'm wondering if he may need copepods. <Will eat this and other small meaty foodstuffs> If I knew he was, I'd know how to feed. I've looked through my Burgess Atlas from cover to cover twice. I'm being thrown off by the eyes on the top of the head and large pectoral wings! <Do take a look on the Net with the sci. name provided... is this your animal?> Can you please help so I can provide the right home for our new boarder. I have several tanks to choose from so I'm certain I can meet his needs if I just knew what they were. You folks are absolutely the very best out there and I greatly appreciate your site and services. Thank you
Persis <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mystery Hitch Hiker! 7/27/08 Yeah! He is indeed a Priolepis nocturna! Can I assume, though I didn't note this anywhere on the web, that based on his name he's more active at night? <Mmm, I think you are likely correct> Obviously I'll never see him again if I put him my large display with several hundred pounds of live rock, several aggressive fish, and a half dozen various sized anems. I'm not sure how long he'd survive there either despite the amount of rock. I have a smaller, 400 gallon, fish only tank as well... but it looks like our new friend needs the rock. I just might set up a small 20 or 30 gallon reef just for him :) If I were to add one or two other companions for him, who might that be? <Mmm, something "easygoing"...> Thanks very much, Bob. I feel special to have such a rare creature and want to make him as comfortable as possible in his new home. Persis Strong <Sounds good. Cheers! BobF>
Help Identifying a fish 5/17/08 Hi I was curious if any of you guys could help me indentify this fish, its tank requirements, and its availability. Any info at would help. I was referred to you guys from someone on waterwolves.com. Any info at all would help. Right now it is in brackish water, but nobody knows if it is brackish, saltwater or fresh????? It appears to be a type of goby to me. Thank you. Erik <Not seen this goby. I'd recommend getting in touch with the excellent GobyGroup on Yahoo; there are scientists who study gobies as well as aquarists and wholesalers, and so the help offered is pretty reliable. Naomi Delventhal, who wrote the goby chapter in my brackish book, is one of the resident experts. In the meantime, maintain at SG 1.005; this won't harm freshwater gobies, but will help brackish species to do well. Ensure there's good water quality, particularly with regard to oxygen - a lot of the gobies in the freshwater trade come from fast-flowing streams of one sort or another. As for diet, most gobies feed on small invertebrates, but some are algae-eaters, so offer a variety of frozen invertebrates and green foods and see what works. Cheers, Neale.>

Goby identification... no pic, no way -11/27/2007 I've been reading your web site for several years. Thanks for all the help. My LFS has a "gudgeon" goby that I am interested in, but I am unable to find any information about. Looking at the WWM site and on the internet, the fish look similar to the black tail goby. Can you tell me if this is the same fish and if it, or several, would be appropriate for a 72 gallon reef tank with a true Perc clown, scopas tang & a possum wrasse. Thanks, Sarah <... no pic? There are a few gobies, some non-gobies referred to as "gudgeons"... some are brackish, freshwater... please look through what Fishbase.org shows for this common name. Some said species get very large... might eat a Wetmorella... Bob Fenner>

IDs please - Parasitic snail and goby - 10/11/07 Hello <Hi John.> I posted the following on another website and was told to send it to this email address for identification. Found this little "parasitic snail" on my Turbo the other day. It appears to have eaten a chunk of the Turbo's shell to fit. I have never seen it move from this location. Appears to eat algae off the glass. Hard to get clear pictures when it's out. Any ideas what it may be? <There are a number of parasitic and boring snails, that live in mollusks and echinoderms and sometimes eventually kill them. Family Pyramidellidae has some of these species. A more definite ID is likely only possible (if possible at all), when you take the parasitic snail out of the tank. Id try to get rid of it anyway.> Also if you could tell me the type of Goby this is it would be great to. <Most certainly a Amblyeleotris sp., probably Amblyeleotris macronema, but there are several similar species. See Fishbase, e.g. http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Photos/PicturesSummary.cfm?ID=47043&what=species and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm. Will need an Alpheid prawn to be happy and share its home with.> Thank you for <You are welcome. Marco.>

Re: Ascension Goby 8/13/07 All I really know is that he came from Ascension Island. <Mmm, doubtful... nothing is purposely collected, shipped from t/here> Don't yet know the geography of the region, as I have not researched yet. <See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascension_Island> He has a nice full pink tummy and free swims a good bit. Really a great little goby. I will attach a good pic of him in case y'all are interested. [IMG]http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa29/mitchcarter_album/Di zzy4.jpg[/IMG] Mitch <Thank you for this. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ascension Goby 8/14/07 Thanks a million Bob, <Welcome Mitch> I guess from what I just read, the little guy must be from somewhere else.... <Likely so... there are a whole bunch of very similar species... and range extensions do occur... And folks do (very inoccasionally) transit past this island... but don't collect inexpensive fishes...> I was even ignorant to the location of all these islands, thinking that they were in the So Pacific! I guess I'm never too old to learn. <Am hoping we both continue on both counts!> I have searched every corner of the Internet trying to learn more about this sweet little goby, but to virtually no avail. Is he really as rare an aquarium specimen as I am beginning to believe. Except for the Meerwasser-lexicon site and Fishbase I have not found much of anything about him (excepting pure scientific info). I only found one other person who had the specific species, and it turned out that he was local to me, and bought the LFS tank-mate of Dizzy (my P. ascensionis). No other findings. Mitch <Perhaps you will be the one to proffer observations... BobF>

Ascension Goby, again 05/19/09
Hi again Bob,
I am quite happy to still have my cool little Ascension goby (Priolepis ascensionis). He has been with me for right about two years now. I moved him from the original 29 gallon AllGlass reef into my peninsula 75 gallon display. He is no-longer very shy, nor is he very secretive...he just perches on the bottom of my frag rack most of the time, and sometimes on the bottoms of rocks....He comes out and free swims around in the tank and feeds like a little upside-down pig.
I believe he would hand-feed if I stood on my head! Dizzy is great and gets along with 6 other fish, just about all of which are larger than him, and a couple who are pretty boisterous. Look forward to meeting you in Orlando this July,
<Real good... do you scuba? Want to haul out with a few of us for some days before the ORCA event? BobF>

Ascension Goby, again 05/21/09
I do dive, and I would guess Josh is lining something up?
<Ah yes! He is indeed looking and I think is coming along...>
I would really enjoy that, but will have to check schedules because I work for a relentless boss who doesn't believe in time off!
<Foolish... our time is about all we own... Important to "get away" regularly... to find/be ourselves. B>

Mystery Goby, Or Common Species in Disguise? 5/24/07 Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I've had a Goby for years and I've always known it as a Chalk Goby. I've noticed a few questions similar to my own but never an answer. What isn't clear on the enclosed photo is the that it has a black dot on it's fin. Any chance you can tell me the scientific name please. Many thanks Alison <Well, Alison- this certainly is a cute little fish! I'll go out on a limb and suggest that this is an Amblyeleotris species, of which there are literally dozens. It could possibly be a regional variation of a common, or at least, known species, or an aberrant color morph. Or, it might even be an undescribed species. I'd break out your favorite caffeinated beverage, a fresh batch of popcorn, and spend a little quality time on fishbase.org looking at the Amblyeleotris genus. Could possibly be a species from the genus Valenciennea, but I'm leaning towards Amblyeleotris. Regardless, he sure is a cool little guy...Hope that you enjoy him! regards, Scott F.>

Stocking question, small reef, and FYI, re: der. of Yasha haze... 4/24/07 Hello Crew, <Eric> Long time reader, first time writer here. (Actually, I wrote about a week ago and didn't receive a response, so I'm trying again.) <Good> I have a 7 gallon (5 gallons of water) tank (30cm x 30cm x 30cm) with a little under 3kg of live rock, a Stonogobiops yasha and an Alpheus randalli. Lighting is 40W of compact fluorescent. All filtration is biological via the live rock, and I have a power head and a hang-on filter with the media removed which combine to circulate the water 25 times per hour. Ammonia and nitrite are at zero and nitrate is at 5ppm. SG is 1.024 and pH is steady at 8.3. Alkalinity is at 4 mEq/l. (All data is from Red Sea tests.) Can you recommend a second fish that will be comfortable in this size tank? <Some of the very small, easygoing Pomacentrids, Apogonids, Blennioids, Gobioids... many possibilities> The aquarium stores I've visited here in Japan have made all sorts of suggestions, but I'm pretty doubtful about all of them. I'd really like to find a compatible fish to add, preferably one that is a free swimmer, because the tank seems lonely with the goby and shrimp hiding almost all of the time. Also, FYI, I see lots of different spellings, variations on the common name for Stonogobiops yasha, and I thought you might be interested to know that the fish's common name in Japanese is "yasha haze" "Haze" is pronounced "hah-zeh" and means goby, so the term "yasha haze goby"Ã'Â@is actually redundant. "Yasha" is a female demonic warrior deity, and I assume that the goby gets this name from its bright red stripes and spiky dorsal fin. <Thank you for this> Thanks in advance for your advice. Yours, Eric Anderson Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan <Bob Fenner, Holualoa, Big Island, Hawaii>

Awaous flavus not a blenny! 3/22/07 Hi Bob, It's a nice photo, but Awaous flavus is a goby, not a blenny. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/blenniods.htm I bet you're going to kick yourself for that mistake, huh? Now, I'll confess to getting Mullidae and Mugilidae confused all the time. Cheers, Neale <Man! Well... I make both mistakes... "and many more....". B>
Fish I.D. (A. semipunctatus) 3/17/07 Hi, <Hello.> Thank you for all your information, you all provide a wonderful site. <We love to hear that! You are welcome.> My son caught this fish in a tide pool in Hawaii. <This is a hint...> I saw the blue spots <Another hint...> and thought it was a baby peacock grouper (Roi). But now that it is in our aquarium it looks too cheeky, and I've never seen the filament like front fin <Dorsal.> on a Roi. It is about two inches long, and without the flash appears quite black. <Tell me what you think of this: http://www.hawaiisfishes.com/fishes/neatfish/asterropteryx_semipunctatus.htm (Known as the "blue-spotted" or "half-spot" goby, Asterropteryx semipunctatus) Thanks, Amy <You're welcome, Amy. (By the way, in the future, please attach any pictures instead of inserting them. Thanks, and this is a great pic, too! -GrahamT>

Re: Fish I.D. (A. semipunctatus) update 3/19/07 <Hi Amy.> That is it! <Excellent!> Thanks so much, and you are so fast to respond! <...Blows his smoking keyboard off.> I'm glad to find that it'll be staying small. <Yup.> It is already adjusted and eating, within a day of capture....Should be fun to watch. <I think you'll find that animals lucky enough to skip the whole industry of fish-knapping and air-travel and box-travel, etc. will be much healthier in the long run.> Seems very predatory. Also, thanks for the link to Hawaii fishes. -GrahamT>

Might have a Gobi on my hands? Desert dilemma? 02/11/2007 Hello Again, <Howdy> I have scoured your website, and now have myself even more confused. After looking at dozens of photos I have decided that I definitely have a goby, and the nearest match I can find is " Ctenogobius shufeldti " . I found the picture at http://gobiidae.com/FL_goby_project/FL_list.htm I have tried to get a picture of my own, but the fish just blends in too well with my gravel for a clear view. This is a very fast little fish, and he appears to be very aware of his surroundings. He "walks" around on his pectoral fins and sometimes "sits" on them to move his head around to watch the other inhabitants of the tank: (1 ghost shrimp, 1 small crayfish, 6 guppies unknown number of tiny snails). I have also noted that he seems to be able to move his eyes individually. <All generally characteristics of this family... and a few others of size> He mainly keeps very still when the lights are on, so I do not know what (if anything) he is eating. I have seen him nosing around an artificial plant, but when I get close to watch he darts back down to the gravel. I am feeding my guppies regular flake food, that has shrimp listed as the main ingredient, but he has never shown any interest in it. The crayfish has happily destroyed my java moss, duck weed and water sprite as well as any snail she can pluck from its shell, and I supplement her with frozen peas, and raw frozen cod. The little ghost shrimp seems to eat a little bit of everything. But I have never seen the goby eating. Any suggestions? <Posted on WWM> He is a really neat little fish. I saved him from a feeder tank, but I am not sure I am doing him any favors by starving him to death. Also, do you have any idea why it is illegal to purchase gobies from a pet store in the state of Maine? <Check with the governing body re... perhaps a fear they will be released to environments where they might out-compete indigenous species> None of the local pet stores have any idea. Additionally we can not buy fresh water invertebrates locally. Get this... I can buy live crayfish as bait, but I can't buy them in a pet store, and I can legally purchase ghost shrimp through the mail. Thanks so much for a wonderful resource, Doug Alley <"In a mature society "civil servant" translates as "civil master" (Robert Anson Heinlein)... Stay tuned as the U.S. tumbles in the predicable sea of too much government... NO lifetime civil servants. BobF>

I have two bar goby, reproducing? What species? 9/6/06 < http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/ComNames/CommonNameSearchList.php Eviota?> that have been digging holes in the bottom of my 75 gallon aquarium for several months. They like to hide under a large hollow rock. Today, inside a hollow castle, appeared a rather yellow netting, that one goby seems to be protecting and constantly rubbing against. Is this possibly an egg sack? <Yes!> I have found no information on the mating of bar goby. Please help! <Take a read per the link above. Once you have the species name, look in turn with this... Bob Fenner>

Goby and wrasse questions... Champagne livestock tastes, Bud tank 8/23/06 Hi. <Hey there!> I have a 45 gallon tank with the following critters - a clownfish (currently residing in an anemone), Firefish goby, pajama cardinal, diamond sand goby, scarlet cleaner shrimp, some Christmas tree rocks, some coral frags, some snails and a scarlet legged cleaner crab. I saw a beautiful fish the other day, the store rep said it was an African Aurora Goby which I think is called Amblyeleotris aurora?) <Maybe> and he priced it at $80. <Man! I got out of the fish collection biz much too soon!> I looked on an internet site and saw something very similar but it was called a Pinkbar goby (for $30), and it was listed as originating from either Indo Pacific or Maldives, aka Cryptocentrus aurora. They look so similar to me, is there any difference? <Mmm, nope... try putting both names into fishbase.org...: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=12694&genusname=Amblyeleotris&speciesname=aurora is the same species... is an Amblyeleotris> And is there a difference between the Indo Pacific one and the Maldives one? <Mmm, maybe slight geographic variation in color, markings... and likely cost... the further away... the higher> Also, are they hard to keep, and will there be any compatibility problems with my current fish? <Your 45 may be too small to provide sufficient habitat for this shy species to "feel comfortable"... Do you intend to supply an appropriate Alpheid symbiont? I also saw a lovely leopard wrasse; again, would there be any compatibility or feeding problems with this fish? Thanks for your time, Ak <I would not encourage someone to try a genus Macropharyngodon Labrid in such a setting. Bob Fenner>

Elacatinus multifasciatus 8/19/06 Hi I was wondering if you wonderful people could identify this goby for me, I purchased two little guys from LFS who said they were Christmas nano gobies. <Okay...> I cannot find any reference to such fish they are approx 1 inch long and have not really grown in length since I got them which was approx 5 months ago (they have however got fatter) They live in my sump tank and seem very content I just wish I had a name for them. Thank you for your time in this matter. Rache Hill (England) <A beauty. Please see here: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=12444&genusname=Elacatinus&speciesname=multifasciatus Bob Fenner>

Fish ID 2/22/06 Greetings and salutations ye knowers of all fishy things... Hopefully you can help ID a fish that one of the local club member picked up recently. Unfortunately, he didn't do any research before buying, (cardinal sin in the hobby) and only got the dubious common name of "Feather fin goby " here's a pic of it. http://www.whodah.com/albums/BoomerD/apw.jpg <Neat...> He says "Its a cool little fish that buries its self in the sand it has eyes that rotate all the backwards and is kinda shaped like a pipefish, kinda. " The fish is currently in quarantine, and he'd like to know what it is, what to feed it properly, and if it's reef-safe. Thanks, Neil <Don't know what this is... do send along some other images... Bob Fenner>
<<Mmm, now... 6/09... looks like a Sand Diver maybe. RMF>>

Unidentified goby species ... and no pic 2/6/06 I acquired this beauty three years ago from a NJ pet store where I was employed. She's now almost 2" long always swimming and clinging upside down on rock in my reef. Look close, she is not a Valenciennea wardii or Amblyeleotris randalli. Thanks for any info, links, or photos to help me give her a name. Maybe I'll name it.............after me! Sorry about photo quality <David, sure looks like a Full Moon Reef Goby (Priolepis nocturna). James (Salty Dog)> <<James... did you save this email to "with images?". RMF>
Re: Unidentified goby species 2/7/06 Thanks a lot Crew! <You're welcome> Now she has a name, an a beautiful one at that. Quick search on Priolepis nocturna resulted in finding this great photo. How rare are they to find for sale? <Don't see them too often, at least I don't.> Thanks again! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Circus or Nocturn or Full Moon Reef Goby 12/28/05 Hello All, I know I just sent in one question and here I am with another but... I have a little goby which I have been unable to find any real information on. It is a small goby, up to 1.5 inches. The name is Priolepis nocturna or Ctenogobius nocturnus and is commonly called Nocturn Goby, Circus Goby or Full Moon Reef Goby. It is found in coastal areas of either or both - Eastern Pacific: Kodiak I., Alaska to southern Baja California, Mexico; rare north of Point Conception in California, USA. (fishindex.com) or Indo-Pacific Ocean: Aldabra and Assumption Islands, Seychelles, Marquesas, and Maldives (saltcorner.com). Supposedly will eat all types of food including flakes and should be kept one to a tank as they will fight each other. These 2 sites also had a picture of the little fish, it is very pretty. I don't see it very often so when I do it is a real treat. So, can anyone tell me more about this little jewel? I would really appreciate it. Thanks bunches. Agnes <Priolepis is the correct genus/name... have rarely seen this fish in the industry, never in the wild... I would try the large/r BB's dealing with reef aquariums (Central, Org) re hobbyists with direct experience here. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Goby larvae 12/21/05 Bob- can't recall if I asked you this before- but I am preparing to look at the otoliths of most of the shallow-water genera of Caribbean gobies for estimates of pelagic larval duration and for that I need to subtract the size of the otolith at hatching. Do you have any ideas on how I can get some samples of newly-hatched Caribbean gobies to look at the otoliths? Ben Benjamin Victor Coralreeffish.com http://www.coralreeffish.com < http://www.coralreeffish.com/> check out the guide to the late-stage fish < http://www.coralreeffish.com/larvae.htm> larvae of the Caribbean <Mmm, definitely the few Gobiosoma/Elacatinus that are cultured... I'd contact the folks at ORA (Ft. Pierce) http://www.hboi.edu/aqua/aqua_home.html There are a few others in FLA... BobF, out the door>

Fish ID Please 9/21/05 Hi Bob or whoever is lucky (or unlucky enough to get this) <James is the lucky one> I recently bought a juvenal fish it was sold to me as a sort of goby. The person selling him was not sure and I am not sure either but I thought I would o to the experts. The fish when I got him or her was around a half inch. It has grown to its present size of around one inch. Its body to me looks more like the wrasse family but again I do not know. And on the other hand I do not see him swimming a lot so it could be a goby? Here is a Photo So my question is what kind of little fellow do I have here and also when or at what size should I be able to introduce him into general population (I do not want him to get eaten) currently he is in a small breeder with some macro for him to hide in. The thank he will be going into is a reef ready (drilled) 75 gallon whose current inhabitants are as follows: Yellow Tang 3.5 -4" Flame Angel 2.5" Coral Beauty 2.5" Scooter Blenny 1.5" Lawnmower Blenny 3.5" Electric Blue Damsel 1" Orchid Dotty 1" Various crabs and shrimp and a few clams. All 3 photos are of the same fish FYI. Thanks in advance and I also threw in a shot of my tank. Kindest Regards Bruce <Bruce, this looks an awful lot like the red headed goby, except yours is all read. I'll run this by Bob, I'm sure he has seen one of these. James (Salty Dog)> <<Mmm, doesn't look like an Elacatinus species to me... I would take the long look/see here: http://www.gobiidae.com/ . Bob Fenner>

Panda Clown Goby? 7/26/05 Hey crew! <Hey, Mike G with you this afternoon.> How's everything this fine Saturday evening? Me and my wet friends are doing great. <Good to hear.> Anyway, on to the question: I found this goby (Paragobius lacunicolus) at Live Aquaria. They state it as a clown goby though I'm not so sure it is. They list it as a difficult specimen, though most clown gobies seem hardy. They don't list why it is supposedly difficult and I can't find any information on WWM or fishbase.org. Has anyone there had any experience with this fish or know it's true identity? Thanks for the help with this peculiar fish. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=2230 <Well, LiveAquaria lists the creature as a Paragobius species, whereas the Clown Gobies we know of are Gobiodon species. So, it is not technically a Clown Goby, just a fish that looks like one.> As always, thanks for any help, <No problem, Mike G> Nick

Saltwater Goby ID Please (7-11-05) Dear WetWebMedia Crew, <Hi there, Leslie here for the crew this evening.> I recently acquired an extremely ADORABLE goby, that I would like help identifying. <Sure, will be happy to see what I can do.> I will send you a picture post haste. But in the meanwhile.. here is a description. <A photo would be most helpful.> The Goby in question is under 1 inch long and looks physically exactly like the Yellow Clown Goby except white. It has small black freckly like spots on the tail and face, and a few thin horizontal stripes on each side the body. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2...wn_goby_3SM.jpg. <Thanks for the link but there is no image displayed, just the Reef Central logo.> Like the Yellow goby, the it has a suction cup under its belly and swims in the same manner. Personality wise, they seem exactly the same. <Well it certainly sounds like they could at least be closely related from the same genus, but it is really impossible to tell without a good photo. In the mean time you could give www.fishbase.org a shot. Have a look through the photos of the genus Gobiodon.> Your help is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Ivy Sorry I could not be more helpful, Leslie

Re: Panda coral goby Here is a link to a picture of one http://www.atlantisaquarium.net/images/goby3.jpg.JPG . It has the same body shape as a yellow clown goby but is very small. The adult size is only around an 1" long. Thanks for your help I will try and find info on this fish and if I do I will share it with you. <A nice pic... is very similar to Gobiodon spp... am wondering if this is actually a valid species or a "painted" one... don't see on fishbase.org, Google pix... Bob Fenner>

Re: Panda coral goby Thanks for your help! Your link to fishbase.org allowed me to find some info on this fish. The common name for this fish is Blackfin coral goby or Paragobiodon lacunicolus. Here is a link to this fish http://fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Paragobiodon&speciesname=lacunicolus <Ahh, thank you for this. A gorgeous little fish. Glad to see it in the hobby interest. Bob Fenner>

Identity of "dwarf neon gobies" Hello Fish people I was going through the goby FAQs and came upon one which mentioned an unknown goby of Indian origin with blue spots going by the name of "dwarf neon goby". I too have seen fish of that name and origin, and some months ago sent several formalin preserved specimens to Helen Larson, an expert geobiologist at the museum in Darwin, Australia. The following is what she told me: "They are Amoya, as I suspected - a convenient catch-all genus for things that look like Acentrogobius but aren't. There's at least 27 nominal species and nobody has ever reviewed the genus. These look like griseus/gracilis type things but I can't put a name to them for sure. They're not A. moloanus or A. gracilis. I won't be able to identify them without first sorting out what all the species in the genus really are. I've seen most of the type specimens but a number were destroyed in WWII and so we have to guess from the original description what Herre had. First we need to properly define Acentrogobius, Amoya, Arenigobius, Yoga, Yongeichthys and Aulopareia, then we'll be able to solve this problem!" So at this time no one can say exactly what they are (and this kind of problem is by no means unusual in Gobiidae taxonomy!) However, they seem to be good brackish aquarium fish - easy to feed, although somewhat vulnerable to bacterial infection after shipping. Mine have not yet spawned. Cheers, Naomi Eventual Editor - International Goby Society Staff - Gobioid Research Institute <Thank you for this information. Will be posting. Bob Fenner>

You say Potatoe Goby Bobster... What's the diff between Stonogobiops Stonogobius? Are they two different genera or is one misspelled/dated? <Mmm, well... Stonogobiops is a valid genus (of gobies), but there is no Stonogobius (there is a Stenogobius)... perhaps a misspelling (looks easy to do!). Bob F> Thanks bub

A Goby by Another Name? 3/2/03 Sorry to bother you again Phil<No problem!> but I know what fish you are talking about by description only I am lacking their scientific or common specie name? Care to throw me a bone ;)<Sure, here's the scoop. There are two "Orangespotted" Gobies. One is Amblyeleotris guttata. A fine marine animal to 3.5 inches requiring a 20 gallon tank. It should have a Alpheid shrimp in the same tank. As they will pair together and share the same cave together. This goby is tan w/ orange spots along it's body. The other goby is the "Orangespotted Sleeper Goby". A not so fine animal to 5.5 inches requiring a 55 gallon tank full of live rock and live sand. It is difficult to keep, most starve to death. It is also tan but has more oval shaped orange spots on it's upper body. From it's lower mouth to it's lower tail it has a orange line . Near it's mouth are a few oval shaped neon blue spots. Hope this info helps! Phil>

New Gobies? >To the best crew in the Northern Hemisphere: >>Now *that's* a compliment to write Mom about! >I was visiting my LFS tonight and saw a few gobies of interest that I cannot find information about. One they called a "lime stripe", which has light green stripes going vertically and was about 0.5" long. The other they called "Yashi" or "Yashu" or something (I usually bring my pen and paper into the store), also very small. I didn't speak to any employees because I was in a rush, but every time I pass the store I have to pop my head in! I was hoping you guys/gals can shed some light. One of them was referred to as "rare", but I don't remember which one. Thanks, Rich. >>Ah, the bane of common names. Part of the problem is that many blennies are confused for gobies, and vice versa. If there is *any* way you can get them to give you the actual taxonomical names of these fish, then I can further help you. Personally, I've heard of no fish going by those common names. Pics, perhaps, may be of some help, but that taxonomical name is the ticket, truth be told. If the shop has a marine I.D. bible, they should let you peruse it (assuming that it's a good shop, eh?). Let us know! Marina

Chalk Face Goby - I Can't Really Help >Hi >>Hello. >I have 45 gallon marine tank with about 20 Kg of live rock. Livestock consists of a Yellow Tang, 2 Regal Tangs, 2 Clowns, a Mandarin and a Chalk Face Goby. There are several Turbo snails and about half a dozen red and blue legged hermits. These have all been living happily together for the last 15 months with no significant problems however, the Goby appears to be getting very thin and I am worried for his health. >>I wish I could help, but my searches are finding nothing for "chalk goby" (I need a genus and species name, here) nor "chalk face goby". I will toss out a link to a chalk bass, but I've not heard of these being particularly difficult in their husbandry. http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Serranus&speciesname=tortugarum >I am not currently feeding him anything other than the frozen food that goes into the tank. This hasn't been an issue before. >>So, you're saying the animal has been fat and healthy the whole time you've had him? If so, over what period of time would you guess this weight loss has occurred? >I have taken the precaution of moving him to a qt to remove the competition for the food but would value any help you could offer. Thanks, Darren Coughlan >>Well, that was your best move. I will caution you to provide good cover for him, gobies tend to be happier with some cover (whether or not they use it). You haven't mentioned whether or not he's actually taking the food offered. If he IS, then I suspect an internal parasite. In that case, please use our site's Google bar on such - there are a couple of us who have dealt with these and have offered treatments to others in similar situations. If NOT, then I suggest offering him more meaty foods (all soaked in Selcon) - Mysis shrimp, bloodworms, small bits of krill, other shrimp, etc. (These may require a trip through a blender to get small enough bits for him - since I don't know exactly what you have, I cannot be more specific.) Be sure to watch water quality during this time. I'm very sorry I can't be of more help here, but if you can lead me in the right direction, also with a bit more information, maybe we can find a solution. Marina Neon Pink Goby Dear Sir, <Myles... interesting spelling... is this (like Miles Standish) derived from the Latin, miles, miletis?> I wonder whether you could help identify a 1" bright pink/fuchsia goby with silver swimbladder/main organ sac. <Yikes!> I have no other information other than he is marine tropical and charismatic. <Well, that's a start> I realize this isn't much help, but I've gone through all the families on your excellent site and I cannot for the life of me find any creature that resembles it/he/she! I would greatly appreciate any help. P.S. I can try and image it if that helps. <Please do... the gobies are the largest family of fishes... take a look on fishbase.org, and if you have LOTs of time, start scanning their pix... There are some Japanese books on gobies and their relatives that are fantastic in their scope, photography, but I don't recall ever seeing a pink goby... It might have been purposely dyed (this happens) as a "novelty"... to enhance its sale. Bob Fenner> Many thanks, M. Oakes (BSc. Env.St.)

Re: Neon Pink Goby Thanks for your reply, <Welcome> I'm pretty sure its not dyed, mainly because it hasn't died, yet! <Heee! Like those homonyms> Its obviously a sponge dweller and now its settled in its more orange than pink, although I'm still having trouble fathoming out what it is. <Me too> I need to send you a picture, I'm trying but the little blighters so small! I have a blue-spot cave goby that's been eyeing him up for days now, it could only be a matter of time! <Maybe make a digital pic, enlarge, crop...> many thanks for your reply and I'll try and image him/her, Myles Oakes <Real good. Bob Fenner>

What kind of goby? Just got a 4 inch goby that has beautiful coloration: salmon-colored top fins with black spots on them; body is yellowish-green with brown bands; sprinkling of neon blue "freckles" around head/neck and near tail; tail is pink/salmon with some lavender in it; "foot" fin is large and totally black. What kind of goby is this and what part of the world does it come from? Glenda Schill <The true gobies are the largest family of marine fishes... some 1875 nominal species, with many more to be found, named. You might have some luck looking through fishbase's listing: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/FamilySummary.cfm?ID=405 Left click "show species", but I can't discern your species from the description. Do you have a photo to send along? Bob Fenner>

Re: what kind of goby? Thanks so much for the link -- I'll see if I can find something. Appreciate your help. <Real good... and as stated, do send an image along if you have one. Bob Fenner> Glenda Schill

Brackish to fresh (goby id) thanks so much for the help. Her fish is a Goby I found out but Fishbase has about a hundred Goby types so she'll have to look there and identify. Thanks again. <Ah, you're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner> Dan

Green banded goby Thanks about the advice on the green water, I found it was a phosphate problem. That has been sorted out and the water has started to clear. I've started to think to think about a sand sifter, and in a local shop, there is a green banded goby for sale, but I can't find any information on it. Could you tell me about it and what size it grows to? Are there any special requirements for it? My tank is 180l. <Yikes... any chance of a scientific name here? There are many fishes that fit the common name offered. Please take a look through our Gobies sections: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobioidmars.htm and Sand Sifter FAQs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Thanks in advance, James Matthams

Mostly gobies Hi again... :-) I don't know what the "butterfly gobies" really are, but they definitely aren't true gobies. They look sort of like miniaturized dwarf lionfish, mottled brown and beige and about 1" long, and nothing like the marine butterfly goby, Amblygobius albimaculatus. Do you know if this fish is a Sculpin, or a Scorpaenidae, or is it something else entirely? <Beige mostly? Maybe Stigmatogobius: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brgobioids.htm> Believe me, this was one of the first places I looked! It isn't a Stigmatogobius sadanundio; these guys don't look like knight gobies at all. <Well, thought I'd try an easy choice!> Saying they're an inch long is being generous... one of them is a half inch long plus tail, and they haven't gotten bigger in the months I've had them. They're smaller than my bumblebee gobies in the same tank. The pelvic fins are separate, not fused into a cup shape. The front dorsal fin has three spines; the back dorsal fin is similar in shape to an Apistogramma's dorsal fin. <Mmm, many possibilities... including (likely) hundreds of as-yet undescribed species>> A bit more research later, and I'm inclined to believe this is a Sculpin or sea robin of some sort. <Really!? And this small (at this point)?> It looks quite a bit like the "leopard sea robin" on http://www.awod.com/gallery/probono/isi/fieldgid.htm, but they don't show a good side view of the fish.... (fishbase.org isn't helping much, since a lot of their Searobin entries don't have illustrations). <Yes... they rely on "collaborators" to supply images (for gratis, I am gladly one)> - - - Meanwhile, I'm trying to mix up some soil like you suggested: peat, African violet mix, and laterite. The African violet mix has some white floating particles -- vermiculite? <Yes, likely... or perlite> -- and I'm wondering: should I take the floating bits out, or leave them in? <I'd take them out> The tank that needs the plants the most (it has the most brown algae) is the one with the sand substrate. I'd like to keep the sand, since the gobies are sand-sifters and love to bury themselves in the sand. How should I set up the soil and substrate in this tank? <Either make the sand deep enough over the substrate and soil bed, or better, place a screen mesh (plastic, like sold in large hardware store outlets) betwixt the two layers. Bob Fenner> many thanks, Ananda

Goby Id - Black Prawn I am designing a website and I can the correct identification of the attached goby photo. Common name and Scientific name <Looks to be a Cryptocentrus cinctus. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm Bob Fenner>

Goby Id -Peach Goby? I am designing a website and I can the correct identification of the attached goby photo. Common name and Scientific name <Another color variety of the one just sent... see the same section of our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm Bob Fenner> Thank You

Goby ID - White Stripped Prawn Goby???? I am designing a website and I can the correct identification of the attached goby photo. Common name and Scientific name <Mmm, please peruse the references listed where you were sent, and fishbase.org for the genera of shrimp gobies listed on WWM. Bob Fenner> Thank You

Goby ID - Spotted Prawn Goby??? I am designing a website and I can the correct identification of the attached goby photo. Common name and Scientific name <Please peruse the surrounding/linked articles on WWM here. Bob Fenner> Thank You

Purple spot goby??? I work at a fish store and someone recently dropped off what they called a "purple spot goby". I have been trying to find more information on this fish but I can't seem to find any. No one I know knows what other name, if any, this goby might be called. Someone suggested purple cheeked goby but I ran into a dead in there as well. I have been dealing with fish for years but have never seen this before. Do you think you can help me? Thank you, Carlena Frith <Well... neither I nor www.FishBase.org recognize either common names. You might try looking through our Gobioid materials: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobioidmars.htm and if you can narrow down the possibility to the genus level, go to Fishbase, input it and sort through the couple of thousand species... they have pix of many, Google links to many more. As they say in the biz, good luck. Bob Fenner>

Goby hi my name is Marshall Hill I have a yasha hashe goby can you give me a site I can visit to get more info or do you have any pages I can view thanks Marshall hill <Please read through our root web: www.WetWebMedia.com or use the search feature there. Bob Fenner>

Unidentified Goby Good Morning, I have recently set up a 30 gallon brackish water fish tank. I live in south Florida and have a canal that runs through my backyard. There are many types of invasive tropical fish species in these canals and they are my main source of fish. There are a number of small fish which I believe to be some sort of goby. The fin underneath there body is fused together to form one large fin which they do use to hold themselves along the bottom or on rocks or clay pots. I have searched many WebPages and have been unable to find the type that we have. The fish has a large crest on its head and are a tan and black spotted pattern. They occasionally show small blue spots on the fins parts of body. The distinguishing feature that these fish have is the head crest, this I have not seen on any other goby p photos that I have viewed. Any advice you can provide would be fantastic. Thanks, Jess <Mmm, I would guess you may be looking at a Gobiesocidae, a Clingfish... maybe Gobiosox punctulatus. Go to fishbase.org and take a look see at their description, pix. Bob Fenner>

Unidentified Goby - Lophogobius cyprinoides (Note: post link to Mar. Links and family files) Hi Mr. Fenner, Your site is well designed. I happened to be scanning the "Today's Questions and Answers Page" and a questioned titled "Unidentified Goby" caught my attention. Judging by the description of the fish (head crest) as well as the origin (brackish canal in Florida) I am fairly certain that the species in question is Lophogobius cyprinoides. <Thank you for your kind, and quick (!) identification. Will post (and the link to your academic association). Bob Fenner> Cheers, Naomi R. Eventual Editor - International Goby Society Staff - Gobioid Research Institute www.gobiidae.com

Freshwater gobies Hi, I hope you can help identify some freshwater gobies that I recently bought. <I'll try> They are typical gobies, with sucker pelvic fins, about 2.5 inches long, with snaky cylindrical bodies. Olive green with yellowish transverse bands. So far pretty ordinary, except that they are algae eaters, scraping away at the bog wood in the tank. They also attempted to breed (or possibly just wrestling) though with no success in a community tank. I have searched the web at length and checked through all my textbooks for more information, but no success,. Naturally the dealer had no idea where they come from! Any ideas? <My best... to refer you to the folks/site: www.gobiidae.com for help. The description doesn't "ring a bell" right off... freshwater? Please do send your note along to Naomi R. Eventual Editor - International Goby Society Staff - Gobioid Research Institute Bob Fenner> Brian Ward

Imperial Goby Dear Mr. Fenner: My friend has a 125 gallon tank with a new addition of what the pet store owner called an "imperial goby." It digs tunnels in the coral and seems to sift the sand and pop its head up to say "hello." It is really beautiful and resembles a bamboo shark in a kind of khaki with black pattern. I can't seem to find any information on this type and I am wondering if there is another name, perhaps scientific, you may suggest for me to search with or if you have any personal advice regarding the care of this goby? <Don't see such a descriptor on fishbase.org, nor my files. Do take a look on WWM starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gobies.htm and the links beyond to see if you can come up with the genus... then off to www.fishbase.org for possibly identifying the species.> Thanks so much for your time and patience, Kelli <You're welcome. Bob Fenner>

Gobies I have been importing a small tan goby from India that has iridescent blue spot on its sides. Any idea what they are? <I would search on http://www.fishbase.org/search.cfm for your fish's identity.> They are sold as dwarf neon gobies. Pete Mang, The Fish Place, New York <Happy hunting! -Steven Pro>

Engineer Gobies <Mis-ID'ed... Pholodichthys. RMF> <<Greetings, JasonC here...>> I wanted to ask a ? about engineer gobies but didn't really know where to post it. Most info I've found about them say they get 7-9" and pretty peaceful in a reef tank but I've seen a couple of posts where they can get up to a foot long and nasty and you have to worry about them eating other fish, shrimp, and crabs in the aquarium. But more posts saying how docile they are. I'm trying to find correct information on these fish and hoping maybe you could shed some light on this or send me to some sites with good info on them. I do know they dig and build. A LFS I go to has some young ones (tank raised) and was curious about them. She's very good when it comes to fish and corals and pushes tank raised animals but I like to back up my info just incase. Thanks a lot, Karla Steves <<Karla, I think with these fish their proclivity for eating other things you'd rather they not eat comes with size/age, but I not sure any of them get much larger than six inches or so, most around three or four max. Have you checked out Bob's article on these gobies? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrimpgobies.htm - do read this and the FAQs beyond. Cheers, J -- >>

Engineer Blennies Hi All, <cheers, dear> When I was browsing through the Daily FAQs I came across the email regarding this fish. Jason commented that most don't get larger than 6". In my experience, right when engineer gobies reach 5-6" they start changing from their juvenile pattern to their more blotchy adult pattern. <agreed> The first one I had grew to almost 9" in a 30 gallon tank (no lies, I measured him). <I believe it and have seen the same... most aquarists never get to see this amazing color change and size> Currently, my two (that I have hoped have paired up) are almost at 8" and they have only been mature for a about 6 months. As for reports of eating crabs and shrimp, mine seem to have a hard time eating whole krill, and they haven't ever bothered my hermits (I can't keep shrimp with my Hawkfish). Plus they really hate to leave their home completely, if they can't reach food that is in the water column they won't chase it. Is there any other sites that have information regarding this species since from what I have seen is very limited? Kim <much appreciation for the clarification... indeed not a lot of info out there on them. Do keyword searched for "Worm Goby", "Convict Goby", "Convict Blenny" (listed as a blenny in Burgess). Best regards>

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