Tag: Gobies (Gobiidae)

The Goby (Gobiidae) family is perhaps the largest of all families of fish, consisting of at least 2000 species within more than 200 genera (with many more species still undescribed).

The largest members of the family reach approximately 30cm in length, whilst others are among the smallest of all vertibrates, at little more than 1cm in length. The vast majority of species however range from around 8 - 14cm in length.

Although there are a relatively small number of species which feed on plankton or algae, the vast majority are carnivorous, feeding mainly on small invertibrates.

Locally occurring Gobies can be separated into three distinctive "types" based on appearance, behavior, etc.

The first "type" are species such as members of the genera Amblyeleotris and Cryptocentrus which coexist in a symbiotic relationship with species of Shrimp from the family Alpheus. These unlikely partners share a burrow in the sand which is constantly maintained by the industrious (but almost blind) Shrimp, whilst the ever alert Goby stands guard at the mouth of the burrow. Both species retain contact via the Shrimp's long antenna, a system by which the Goby alerts the Shrimp of danger using flicks of its tail.

The second "type", commonly known as "Sleeper" or "Hover" Gobies are those belonging to genera such as Valenciennea and Amblygobius. These species are often referred to as "sand sifters" as they feed by taking large mouthfuls of sand and filtering out tiny invertibrates as the sand passes out through the gills. Unlike the first "type" described above, they do not share burrows with partner Shrimps and are slightly different in appearance.

A third "type" of Goby often found in local waters are the tiny "Pygmy Gobies" such as those belonging to the genus Eviota.

Typically growing to only around 1 - 3cm in length, and found mainly on large Star Coral (Montastraea) formations or Black or Wire Corals (Antipathariidae) the Pygmy Gobies are the only group that could be considered Reef-Dwelling species. All of the species in "type 1 and 2" are classic examples of Benthic species.

The Goby (Gobiidae) family is perhaps the largest of all families of fish, consisting of at least 2000 species within more than 200 genera (with many more species still undescribed).

The largest members of the family reach approximately 30cm in length, whilst others are among the smallest of all vertibrates, at little more than 1cm in length. The vast majority of species however range from around 8 - 14cm in length.

Although there are a relatively small number of species which feed on plankton or algae, the vast majority are carnivorous, feeding mainly on small invertibrates.

Locally occurring Gobies can be separated into three distinctive "types" based on appearance, behavior, etc.

The first "type" are species such as members of the genera Amblyeleotris and Cryptocentrus which coexist in a symbiotic relationship with species of Shrimp from the family Alpheus. These unlikely partners share a burrow in the sand which is constantly maintained by the industrious (but almost blind) Shrimp, whilst the ever alert Goby stands guard at the mouth of the burrow. Both species retain contact via the Shrimp's long antenna, a system by which the Goby alerts the Shrimp of danger using flicks of its tail.

The second "type", commonly known as "Sleeper" or "Hover" Gobies are those belonging to genera such as Valenciennea and Amblygobius. These species are often referred to as "sand sifters" as they feed by taking large mouthfuls of sand and filtering out tiny invertibrates as the sand passes out through the gills. Unlike the first "type" described above, they do not share burrows with partner Shrimps and are slightly different in appearance.

A third "type" of Goby often found in local waters are the tiny "Pygmy Gobies" such as those belonging to the genus Eviota.

Typically growing to only around 1 - 3cm in length, and found mainly on large Star Coral (Montastraea) formations or Black or Wire Corals (Antipathariidae) the Pygmy Gobies are the only group that could be considered Reef-Dwelling species. All of the species in "type 1 and 2" are classic examples of Benthic species.

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Black-Line Shrimp Goby (Myersina Nigrivirgata) - Variation 2

This Black-Line Shrimp Goby (Myersina nigrivirgata), photographed at Mae Haad/Koh Ma, also shows the "typical" colouration for locally occurring specimens, although the narrow bands that occasionally t

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Black-Line Shrimp Goby (Myersina Nigrivirgata) - Variation 1

This Black-Line Shrimp Goby (Myersina nigrivirgata), photographed at Mae Haad/Koh Ma, shows the "typical" colouration for specimens in local waters.

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Banded Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus Cinctus) - Yellow and Dark Variations

This photograph from Tanote Bay, Koh Tao shows the fairly uncommon combination of both the yellow/gold and darker brown variations of Banded Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus) together.

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Lagoon Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus Cyanotaenia)

This Lagoon Shrimp Goby (Cryptocentrus cyanotaenia), photographed at Mae Haad/Koh Ma reef, shows yet another slight colour variation.

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Blue-Spotted Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus Pavoninoides) - Male

The "resident" male Blue-Spotted Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus Pavoninoides) emerges from a cloud of silt created by one of its "partner" Alpheid Shrimps.

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Giant Shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris Fontanesii) - Juvenile

Juvenile Giant Shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris Fontanesii)

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Giant Shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris Fontanesii)

Giant Shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris Fontanesii)

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Blue-Spotted Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus Pavoninoides) - Male

This photograph of a male Blue-Spotted Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus Pavoninoides), taken at Mae Haad/Koh Ma clearly shows the significant difference between the sexes in terms of colouration and markin

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Blue-Spotted Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus Pavoninoides) - Female

This photograph of a female Blue-Spotted Shrimpgoby (Cryptocentrus Pavoninoides), taken at Mae Haad/Koh Ma shows the features unique to the female of the species, as well as those shared by both mal

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Shadow Goby (Yongeichthys Nebulosus)

This photo of a Shadow Goby (Yongeichthys Nebulosus), photographed below Chaloklum pier at a depth of around 2m, clearly shows the main distinguishing features of the species eg.