Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Elacatinus horsti, Yellowline goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout dark/yellowish-grey
narrow yellow/white stripe: top eye to C base
lower dark stripe wide, ends as oval spot on lower C
mouth not under snout, top lip separate from snout
pectoral 18

Elacatinus horsti (Metzelaar, 1922)

Yellowline goby

Elongate; head compressed; mouth opens at front; top jaw separated from snout by a distinct groove; tongue tip truncate; upper teeth in two rows with the outer row short, ending in two enlarged, recurved fangs; inner row of lower jaw with two or three large, recurved fangs; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 11 (10-12); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 10-11; pectoral fins 18 (17-19); pelvic fins I,5, disk complete; tail rounded; no scales; no lateral line.

Upper head and body dark grey; snout and mouth yellowish grey, sometimes with a small round spot in center; a narrow bright yellow to white (may be bluish white at rear) stripe extending high along back, from top of eye to tail fin base; dark grey stripe below the yellow stripe is wide, ends as an oval spot on the lower tail fin. Small juvenile has short yellow stripe (ends over pectoral base) and  yellow snout.

Reaches: 5 cm.

Habitat: Found in both tubular sponges such as Verongia spp and massive sponges including the barrel sponge Neofibrularia massa.

Depth: 1-40 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sponges
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Insular primarily
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 40