Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Awaous banana, River goby

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7 pores on continuous canal behind eye
bar under D1 origin = long crescent
scales: 67-73 laterals, 30 before D



Awaous banana (Valenciennes, 1837)

River goby

Head broad, depressed; snout blunt; head and body flattened on bottom; eyes small, close together, a pair of pores above front margin; pores in a single series of 7 on canal behind eye-pores; mouth a little under snout; jaw teeth slender, long, none on front of roof of mouth; 2-3 elongate papillae on shoulder girdle under gill cover; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VI + I, 10 (9-12), length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 10 (9-11); pectoral fin 16 (14-17),  pelvic fins fused into a disk; tail fin rounded; scales on entire body, those on body rough; scales in lateral series 67-73 (57-86); scales before dorsal fin 30 (26-40); no lateral line.

Background color brown dorsally, sides light yellowish tan, ventral surface white or pale yellow; sides of head with 3 black slanted bars; body with about 7 irregular black bars on upper side, the first extending from above the gill cover onto the pectoral fin, the bar under the origin of the 1st dorsal crescent-shaped, curving from in front of the dorsal fin to the ventral surface of the body; flank with 7-8 black blotches; back with a series of black irregular small spots, in front of and along first dorsal fin; dorsal fin yellowish; anal and pelvic fins pinkish; base of pectoral fin pinkish orange, the remainder yellowish, except for black bar on its front; tail fin with 7-8 black bars. Both sexes have similar colors. Juvenile with 3 dark diagonal bars on nape, 4 bars on lower body under 2nd dorsal fin and tail base.

Reaches: 37 cm.

Depth: 0.3-3 m.

Habitat: Inhabits clear streams and rivers over sand and gravel, but also found in turbid waters with muddy bottoms; occurs in low salinity mouths of streams. Feeds mainly on filamentous algae.

Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Americas: the  Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
  • New world (East Pacific + West Atlantic)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
Regional Endemism
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Extends South of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 3
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Length Max
  • 37