Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Elacatinus randalli, Yellownose goby

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snout yellow-brown + short narrow yellow bar
narrow yellow stripe: top eye to C base
blue stripe: under eye to pectoral base
lower dark stripe narrow, to C base
pectoral 17 (16-18)

Elacatinus randalli (Bohlke & Robins, 1968)

Yellownose goby

Elongate; head compressed; a pore midway between front of the two eyes; 2 pores on preopercle; mouth U-shaped, large, partly under snout, rear end of upper jaw under rear margin of eye in male; groove present between upper jaw and snout; tongue short and broad, tip straight to slightly indented; males with a row of four or five enlarged, recurved canines in outer row of upper jaw, posterior ones largest, two large recurved canines inner row of lower jaw; females without large recurved teeth in either jaw; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 11 (10-11); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 10 (9-10); pectoral fins 17 (17-18); pelvic fins I, 5, disk complete; tail rounded; no scales; no lateral line.

Dark grey upper head and body; snout brownish yellow, with a short bright yellow narrow bar along its center; a pale yellow, narrow (<pupil diameter) stripe along upper body from top of eye to end of tail fin base; nape and upper back black; an intense black stripe along body below yellow stripe; side of belly and tail base pale bluish purple; a thin blue stripe from under eye to pectoral fin.

Reaches 4.6 cm.

Dwells on living coral and is a cleaner.

Depth: 1-53 m.

Honduras, Puerto Rico, Dominica, St. Vincent, Curacao, Bonaire; archipelagos of Los Monjes and Los Roques, Cubagua and the Gulf of Cariaco (Venezuela).

Note: The Brazilian sister species of E. randalli is E. phthirophagus (Sazima et al 2008). In E. phthirophagus the snout is shorter (3.5-4.7% of SL vs 6.7-8.7% in E. randalli) and dark (yellowish in E. randalli) with a relatively wide central yellow bar (narrow in E. randalli), the yellow stripe along the side of the body is wider (almost eye diameter vs pupil diameter in E. randalli) and there is no blue line from under the eye to the edge of the operculum (present in E. randalli). Many species from Brazil also occur in the SE Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Data
  • Ectoparasites
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Caribbean endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.6
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 53