Gobiidae – Gobies Dartfish

Gobies belong to the Gobiidae family. Gobies make up the largest family of marine fishes. The families Microdesmidae (Firefishes), Callionymidae (Mandarins), Opistognathidae (Jawfish), and Malacanthidae (Tilefish) are often included in the group of fish called gobies. Although these families are not Gobies, they are close relatives which have similar characteristics or habits. The genera of Gobies are extensive, comprising over 200, far too many to list. Gobies are relatively small fish, usually reaching a size of only three inches in an aquarium.

The largest member of the Goby family can reach a length of over 20 inches in the wild. Gobies can be recognized by their long, tubular shape. Most members of this group have two dorsal (top) fins. Gobies are found throughout the world in tropical and temperate waters, occupying coral reefs, rocky areas, or lagoons. Most Gobies are found in pairs or small groups, and are often associated with crustaceas or sessile invertebrates. Some Gobies spend their lives with pistol shrimp, sharing a burrow; other species of gobies live on the branches of sea fans, sponges, or live corals. A few Gobies also act as cleaners, picking parasites and dead skin from larger fish. The diet of these fish comprises zooplankton, small crustaceans, and algae. Most Gobies and related fish adjust well to life in an aquarium. It is important to note that a well-sealed lid is a requirement for keeping these fish, as they will jump out of an open aquarium with great ease.

Gobies should be provided plenty of rockwork and the proper substrate of coral sand to enable the burrowing or sand-sifting Gobies the proper environment. In most of the Gobies, no significant characteristics differentiate males from females. The breeding of some species of Gobies has been accomplished in an aquarium, and the fry of these fish have been reared to adulthood successfully.

Common NameScientific Name
Pink-bar Shrimp GobyAmblyeleotris aurora
Steinitz’s Shrimp GobyAmblyeleotris steinitzi 
Dracula Shrimp Goby    Stonogobiops dracula
Orange Spotted Sand GobyFusigobius longispinus     
Inner Spotted Sand Goby Fusigobius inframaculatus 
Bigtoothed/Largetooth Goby Macrodontogobius wilburi 
Yellow Coral/Citron GobyGobiodon citrinus 
Six Spot Sleeper GobyValenciennea sexguttata
Golden Head Sleeper Goby Valenciennea strigata
Whitebarred Reef GobyAmblygobius semicinctus     
Orangespotted Sleeper/Diamond Goby  Valenciennea puellaris
Valencia Sleeper/Twostripe GobyValenciennea helsdingenii
Red Fire-Goby/Fire gobyNemateleotris magnifica
Purple Fire-Goby/Purple DartfishNemateleotris decora
Arrow Goby/Blackfin dartfishPtereleotris evides
Zebra Dart-Goby/Zebra Barred DartfishPtereleotris zebra
Spottail Dartfish/Blue Gudgeon GobyPtereleotris heteroptera 
Hector’s Goby   Amblygobius hectori     
Full Moon Reef Goby   Priolepis nocturna

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