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Species: Ctenogobius smaragdus, Emerald Goby

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side head & body: green, dark-edged spots
side of nape: dark blotch
D2 10; A 11

Ctenogobius smaragdus (Valenciennes, 1837)

Emerald Goby

Body elongate, slightly compressed; eyes moderate, towards front, narrow between them; front nostril tubular, near or at edge of snout; tongue emarginated to bilobed; teeth in several rows in both jaws; numerous larger teeth in outer row of upper jaw; lower jaw with outer row of slightly larger teeth, large recurved canines in outer mid-lateral row; 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 slightly extending in both sexes) + I, 10 (9-11); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 11 (10-11); pectoral fins 17 (15-18), reaching anal fin origin; pelvic fins I,5, fins united in a disc; scales rough on body 40 (31-45) in lateral series; no lateral line.

Pale tan; head and body with irregular dark marks; prominent dark-ringed greenish white spots on side of head and body; a dark blotch on nape above pectoral fin base; dorsal fins with several dark stripes, tail fin with irregular dark bars; anal and pelvic fins dark.

Reaches: 15 cm TL.

Habitat: Stagnant, weedy backwaters and mangrove areas.

Depth: 1-10 m?

South Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non 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
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
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)
  • Continental primarily
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 10