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Related FAQs: Gobies & their RelativesFresh and Brackish Gobioids,

Related Articles: Gobioids, True/Combtooth GobiesDartfishes (family Microdesmidae), Psychedelic "Gobies"/Mandarins/Dragonets (family Callionymidae)Fresh to Brackish Water Gobioids,

/The Conscientious Reef Aquarist

Indonesian Gobioid Fishes, and Ones Just Called Gobies!

Bob Fenner

Me and my shadow...

Family Gobiidae, the Combtooth Gobies

Genus Amblyeleotris: twenty three described species.

Amblyeleotris diagonalis Polunin & Lubbock 1979, the Diagonal Shrimpgoby. Indo-Pacific; East Africa, Red Sea to Indonesia, GBR. To 8 cm. in length. Lives in association with the alpheid Alpheus bellulus.  Told apart from other similar-appearing shrimpgobies by the thin diagonal lines on the head. N. Sulawesi pic.

Amblyeleotris fasciata (Herre 1953), the Red-banded Shrimp-Goby. Western central Pacific in distribution. To a little over three and a half inches in length. Occasionally imported as an aquarium species. 


Amblyeleotris guttata (Fowler 1938), the Spotted Prawn-Goby. Western Pacific. To nearly four inches total length.  Found in coarse gravel in shallow reefs. One in Mabul, Malaysia, another in captivity.

Amblyeleotris gymnocephala (Bleeker 1853), the Masked Shrimp Goby. Indo-west Pacific. To nearly six inches in length. One in Pulau Redang, Malaysia in about ten feet of water, the other in N. Sulawesi. 

Amblyeleotris latifasciata Polunin & Lubbock 1979. Western Pacific; Gulf of Thailand and the Philippines. One and its alpheid prawn cohort photographed in Pulau Redang, Malaysia, another in N. Sulawesi. 

Genus Asterropteryx

Asterropteryx ensifera (Bleeker 1874), the Blue-speckled Rubble Goby. East Indo-West Pacific; Andaman Sea, New Guinea, Indonesia, Southern Japan. To 35 mm. in length. This one in N. Sulawesi. 

Genus Bryaninops: Whip and Coral Gobies; most often found on Black Corals and Gorgonians. 

Bryaninops amplus Larson 1985, the Large Whip Goby. Indo-Pacific; Madagascar, Seychelles to Hawai'i. To 6 cm. This one off of Queensland, Australia. 

Bryaninops loki Larson 1985, the Loki Whip Goby. Tropical Indo-Pacific; Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines. To a measly 30 mm. in length. Found in silty areas on Gorgonians and Sea Whips. N. Sulawesi pix, an adult and a juvenile (transparent) with parasitic copepods dorsally.  

Bryaninops yongei (Davis & Cohen 1968), the Whip Goby. West to Mid-Pacific; Australia to Rapa, Hawai'i. To four cm. This one off of Mabul, Malaysia. Here in a typical pose where a pair will reside, the antipatharian Cirripathes anguina. Look for them when underwater (found 3-45 m depth). Below, in Hawai'i with eggs, Mabul, Malaysia and Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia pix. 

Genus Eviota: Small and often beautiful.

Eviota prasites Jordan & Seale 1906, the Prasites Goby. West Pacific; Moluccas to Samoa. To less than an inch in length. This one photographed off of Queensland, Australia. 

Eviota sebreei Jordan & Seale 1906, Sebree's Pygmy Goby. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to Samoa, to the northern GBR, Micronesians. To less than an inch in total length. This one perched on a Porites coral in Pulau Redang, Malaysia. 

Genus Fusigobius:

Fusigobius signipinnis Hoese & Obika 1988, the Signalfin Goby. Western Pacific; Japan, Australia, Tonga. To  4.9 cm. S. Sulawesi image. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/

Genus Istigobius: Good looking reef sand-dwelling fishes. The genus comprises eleven species.

The Decorated Goby, Istigobius decoratus (Herre 1927) in the Red Sea  To about five inches in length and found from the Red Sea to Micronesia. 

The Ornate Goby, Istigobius ornatus (Rupell 1830) in an aquarium, Fiji and N. Sulawesi. To about five inches in length and found from the Red Sea to Micronesia
Istigobius rigilius (Herre 1953), the Orange-Spotted Goby. Molucca, Philippine Islands to Australia, over to Fiji and Marshall Islands. To four inches in length. Here in Queensland, Australia and S. Sulawesi. 

Genus Pleurosicya: Tiny host gobies

Pleurosicya micheli Formanoir 1971, Michel's Host Goby. A transparent species with an internal red striped on top of its vertebral column. To one inch in length. Indo-Pacific. This one in Hawai'i perched on a Porites Coral. 

Pleurosicya mossambica Smith 1959, the Toothy, Many or Mozambique Host Goby. Indo-West Pacific; Red Sea, East Africa to Marshall Islands. To 3 cm. in length. Lives amongst soft corals, giant clams, sponges and seagrasses. At right: in S. Sulawesi. Below: in the Red Sea on a coral, N. Sulawesi on a cuke, and in Nuka Hiva, Marquesas on a Cone Snail shell.  http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Country/

Pleurosicya spongicola Larson 1990. Western Pacific; Indonesia. Found associate with, on sponges. N. Sulawesi pix. 

Pleurosicya sp. Found associate with, on sponges. S. Sulawesi pix. 

Genus Trimma:

Trimma taylori Lobel 1979, Yellow Cave Goby. Indo-Pacific; Chagos, Hawaii, Guam, Indonesia, Red Sea. Found in caves, often upside down. Feed on harpacticoid copepods principally. To 3.5 cm. Males with longer first dorsal finnage, and yellow spotting on fins. S. Sulawesi pix of a male and female.  http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/


Trimma sp.. S. Sulawesi pix.

Trimma sp.. S. Sulawesi pix.

Trimma sp.. S. Sulawesi pix.

Firefishes, Dartfishes, Family Microdesmidae, Subfamily Ptereleotrinae: Not really "True" Gobies, but called Dart Gobies by some...


Mandarin "Gobies", Dragonets, Psychedelic "Gobies"

Nemateleotris decora Randall & Allen 1973, the Elegant Firefish. Indo-Pacific in distribution, Mauritius to Micronesia. To three and  a half inches in length. This one in an aquarium.

Nemateleotris magnifica Fowler 1938, the Fire Goby. Indo-Pacific, eastern African coast to Hawai'i. To three and a half inches long. The most popular aquarium species. This one in a typical pose in the Maldives... ready to dart back into its hole in the substrate.

Ptereleotris evides Jordan & Hubbs 1925, the Blackfin Dartfish. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, eastern African coast to the Society Islands. To nearly six inches in length. Unusual for tending to swim away from divers rather than dart into burrows. One photographed in the Red Sea, another in N. Sulawesi.

Ptereleotris heteroptera (Bleeker 1855), the Blacktail Goby. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to Marquesas. To five and a half inches in length. Rarely seen in the pet-fish trade, but wanted to add as a place marker to mention there are many other possibilities in this family (49 described species). An individual in S. Sulawesi and a pair in the Maldives. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/

Ptereleotris zebra (Fowler 1938), the Chinese Zebra Goby. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to Marquesas. To a bit over four inches in length. Found in groups in the wild. Below two in captivity, and a small group in Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia, about to dive into their rocky cave abode. 

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