Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Elacatinus illecebrosus, Barsnout goby

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snout: vertical oval pale spot
stripe yellow/blue/white, wide, eye to C
mouth well under sharp snout
top lip joins snout

Elacatinus illecebrosus (Bohlke & Robins, 1968)

Barsnout goby

Elongate; head compressed; mouth under overhanging snout, shark-like; upper lip joined to snout, no groove between them; teeth in upper jaw conical; teeth in lower jaw in three or four rows in front, conical; females without enlarged canines, males with one or two enlarged and recurved canines on either side; tongue slightly emarginated; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 11; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 10 (10-11); pectoral fins 17 (16-17); pelvic fins I, 5, disk complete; tail rounded; no scales; no lateral line.

Blackish upper head and body; a yellow, blue or white stripe from top of eye to near the end of the tail fin, on body that stripe edged above and below by a thin grey stripe; a pale oval bar of same color on top of the snout; a black stripe under the pale body stripe, from the snout, lower eye to the end of the tail fin.

Reaches 4 cm.

Habitat: A coral dwelling cleaner; many individuals can occur on a single large coral head; may also occur on rock substrate and on mangrove roots.

Depth: 2-45 m.

W Caribbean.

Note: Yellow form: Panama; Blue form: continental Colombia and the Mexican Caribbean.


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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Mangrove
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Data
  • Data
  • Ectoparasites
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 45