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Species: Gobiosoma bosc, Naked Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

tiny barbel before eye
pores: opercle 2; preopercle 3
D2 I, 12; A 10; pectoral 18
brown + ~9 thin light bars
pelvic disc round
no scales

Gobiosoma bosc (Lacepede, 1800)

Naked Goby

Body robust; head rounded, broader than deep; snout blunt; a very small barbel at front of eye; anterior nostril a short tube, posterior a raised rim; 1 pore between eyes; usually 2 pores over gill cover; 3 preopercular pores; upper lip separated from snout by a groove along its top edge; tongue rounded; 3-4 rows of teeth in both jaws, outer row of teeth enlarged in upper and lower jaws; no teeth on roof of mouth; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII (spines not elongate) + I, 12 (10-13); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 10 (9-11); pectoral fin 18 (16-19), rounded; pelvic I, 5 all rays branched, disk round, extending 1/2 way or slightly more to anus; tail fin with segmented rays 17 (17-18), rounded; head and body without scales; no lateral line.

Head variously mottled, lighter fish generally with two narrow light bars, first from front of eye to posterior of upper lip, second from rear of eye to lower cheek, bars may not be present in darker fish; body light to dark brown with 8-9 narrow almost vertical, unbroken, light bars of uniform width; wider dark bars with indistinct dark longitudinal streaks along the mid-flank; dorsal fins dusky, dark and light bars from body generally extending onto ventral portion of fins; anal fin dusky with darker outer edge; pectoral fin dusky; pelvic fin dark; caudal fin dusky at edges with body background color extending onto fin.

Size: 6.0 cm.

Habitat: A coastal species generally found in salinities between 0.3o/oo to 24.7o/oo; frequently associated with oyster beds, also in grass beds, rocky areas, sea squirts, and marsh pools.

Depth: 0-10 m.

Massachusetts to the NW Gulf of Mexico. One specimen reported from Venezuela; perhaps arriving there in a ship’s ballast water.

Notes: Generally confused with G. robustum, G. longipala and G. ginsburgi. The latter two possess two large very rough scales on the posterior of the tail. In G. robustum the vertical bars are less distinct and not as straight is in G. bosc, the pelvic fins are longer, the dorsal and anal fin rays are 12 and 10 respectively instead of 13 and 11, and the posterior cephalic pores are generally lacking.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10