Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Elacatinus oceanops, Neon Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout dark
blue stripe: before eye to ~end C
no pale grey stripe above blue stripe
pectoral 17; pelvic disc short; C 13
dark lower stripe wide, to ~end C
mouth well under sharp snout
top lip joined to snout

Elacatinus oceanops Jordan, 1904

Neon Goby

Elongate; head compressed; mouth under overhanging snout, shark-like; upper lip connected to snout; upper jaw with a single row of conical teeth, in stockade fence fashion, no enlarged, canine-like teeth; lower jaw with 3-4 rows at front, narrowing to a single row on sides, two or three greatly enlarged, recurved canines on inner row; tongue tip slightly emarginated to truncate; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 11-12 (10-13); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 11-12 (9-13); pectoral fins 17 (16-18); pelvic fins I,5, disk complete, relatively short (15.6% of SL); tail rounded, 13 (12-14, rarely 12) branched rays; no scales; no lateral line.

Dark blue-black; an iridescent broad blue stripe along body from a little in front of eyes (but not meeting across snout, and no pale center on snout) to near the end of the tail fin; no pale grey stripe separating blue stripe and black of back; dark lower stripe wide, extends to end of tail fin.

Reaches: 5.0 cm

Habitat: Found associated with coral heads and on rock substrate, occasionally found on the outer surface of large sponges.

Depth: 1-40 m

Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico

Note: Very similar to E. lobeli.

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