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Species: Lythrypnus nesiotes, Island Goby

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3-4 rows spots radiate back from eye
D1 no elongate spines
dark bars: no pale centerline
pale bars < dark bars, + dark centerline
pectoral 15 (15-17), large blackish basal spot

Lythrypnus nesiotes Bohlke & Robins, 1960

Island Goby

Body relatively deep, compressed; head profile round, head without pores; papillae around mouth, on cheeks and operculum and over eye; front nostril a long tube, rear nostril a raised rim; mouth very oblique; tongue bluntly pointed; upper and lower teeth with outer row of widely spaced canines, small pointed teeth between them; gill opening narrow, ~pectoral base; 5-7 gill rakers; gill membranes with 5 rays; dorsal fin VI (none elongate) + I, 9; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 8 (7-8); pectoral fins 15 (15-17), rays unbranched; pelvics I, 5, fused into disc; tail fin short, round, with 17 segmented rays; scales rough, body scaled except chest and pectoral base, 24 (24-26) lateral rows, none on head and nape; no lateral line.

Body with alternating pale and dark red-brown bars, dark center line in pale bands, dark bars lacking pale center, width of pale bars less than width of dark bars; cheek tan with round dark spots in 3-4 rows radiating from bottom portion of eye, occasionally fused into bars; pectoral fin with a single large dark spot generally on central portion of base, covering most of the base, but not extending anteriorly toward opercular membrane.

Reaches 1.9 cm.

Found in sheltered patch reef locations.

Depth range: 5-51 m.

Georgia to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Sea anemones
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • 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
  • 1.9
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 51