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Species: Ctenogobius boleosoma, Darter Goby

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dark crescent across nape between dark blotch each shoulder
flank: 3-4 dark V bars + oval blotches
D2 10; A 11
male C: top red stripe

Ctenogobius boleosoma (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Darter Goby

Elongate, compressed body; snout round; eyes large, towards front, narrow between them; 2 pores behind eye, last one on preopercle; tongue truncate to slightly indented at tip; upper jaw with teeth in several rows, about 3 large canines on each side of jaw; lower jaw with several rows of teeth, highly recurved canines in rear of jaw; front of roof of mouth without teeth; gill rakers short, triangular 0 + 4-5; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VI (spines not generally elongated) + I, 10 (9-11); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 11 (10-12); pectoral fin 16-17 (12-19); pelvic fins I, 5, united forming a disc; tail fin long and pointed; scales smooth at front of body, rough at tail base, 31 (29-35) in lateral series; no lateral line.

Snout with several bars; diagonal bars across cheek; opercle dusky; large dark shoulder patch at upper angle of opercle on side of nape; a thin intense crescent just before D1 origin on mid nape between shoulder patches; dark spot on upper and lower pectoral base; 3-4 mid-lateral oblong or V shaped blotches, with a large dark spot at the bottom of each; 1st dorsal with diagonal bars; 2nd dorsal diagonally barred with dark spot at tip of flexible spine in males; tail fin with a black spot at the base, stronger in males; tail fin of males with a red stripe along upper edge, slightly vertical barring in middle, especially near base.

Reaches: 10.5 cm.

Found in quiet brackish to freshwaters of bays and estuaries, in grassy and muddy areas; also higher-salinity grass flats of lower estuaries and barrier Islands.

Depth: 1-10 m.

Chesapeake Bay to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Detritus
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10.5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 10