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Species: Microgobius microlepis, Banner Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

nape crest - both sexes
under eye: oblique blue bar, opercle blue bar/spots
eye to end C dark stripe
D1 17-18; D2 18
pink: inner 1/2 Ds, most A & pelvic
preoperculum - 3 pores
lateral scales 68-78
scales mostly rough

Microgobius microlepis Longley & Hildebrand, 1940

Banner Goby

Head and body compressed; a fleshy crest on nape in both sexes, lower in male; 3 pores on preopercle, no pore between front of eyes; mouth large, nearly vertical; tip of tongue divided; no teeth on front of roof of mouth; lower jaw with 5-6 enlarged teeth in outer row; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII, spines II-VI elongate in both sexes, longest reaching the base of the fourth element of the second dorsal fin, + I, 17-18 rays; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 18 (rarely19) rays; pectoral fin 20-23; pelvic fins I, 5, fused to form disc; tail fin long, oval; scales small, mostly rough; body scaled from rear forward to tip of depressed pectoral fin, head scaleless; lateral scale rows 68-78; no lateral line.

Males: body pale blue-grey with greenish cast on top; no dark spots on body or fins; cheek below eye with three iridescent blue stripes, pale orange stripes between; pale orange stripe connecting anterior margin of eye with upper lip; chin and nuchal crest both with rosy cast; opercle dusky orange with iridescent blue bar or spot; lower half of spinous dorsal fin rosy orange; anal fin pale yellow near body, becoming orange distally; tail fin with orange cast, a greenish-yellow stripe across the top rays, continues with band on dorsal fins. Females: similar to males except: bottom of body above anal fin white; belly with rosy cast; a dark grey stripe along mid flank, an oblique dark grey bar angled back and down on body behind belly; chin whitish; soft dorsal pale with rosy-orange base; anal fin with rosy cast; tail fin with median, dusky rose stripe and similar stripe below that, originating at the bottom of the base of the fin, and running diagonally to the fin’s margin.

Reaches: 5.0 cm.

Habitat: Builds burrows in the calcareous bottom sediments of inshore waters.

Depth: 1.5-5 m.

Florida to the northwest Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • 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
  • 5