Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Gobulus myersi, Paleback Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head v depressed, no pores
light above & dark below
C round, base: curved bar
mouth oblique
pelvics form flat plate
no scales



Gobulus myersi Ginsburg, 1939

Paleback Goby

Slender, compressed body; distinctly depressed head; head without pores; longitudinal and vertical rows of papillae on cheeks; mouth small, opens at front, oblique, lower jaw projecting, top jaw not extending beyond eye; groove between upper lip and snout; teeth in upper jaw in 4 rows, about 6 recurved canines in outer row, low pointed teeth in inner rows; lower jaw with 4 rows of low pointed teeth; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; 1st dorsal fin with VII spines, none filamentous + I, 9-10; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 7-9; pectoral fin 14-16; pelvic fins I, 5,frenum between spines absent or present as a thin membrane, with a well developed membrane connecting at least 1/3 of length of inner rays, all rays unbranched, not extending past anus, fins form a flat plate; tail fin short, rounded; no scales; no lateral line.

Head and body creamy white above, dark brown below; two poorly defined saddles on back; the tail fin base with a dark curved bar.

Reaches: 15 cm.

Habitat: Inhabits sandy patches near coral reefs.

Depth: 5-48 m.

The Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 48