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Species: Elacatinus colini, Mesoamerican Sponge Goby

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snout yellow-brown, + narrow yellow bar
pale stripe: eye to upper C base, narrow, front yellow, white behind
mouth a little under snout, top lip separate from snout

Elacatinus colini Randall & Lobel, 2009

Mesoamerican Sponge Goby

Elongate; head compressed; mouth U-shaped, a little under snout; upper lip separated from snout by a groove; tongue straight edged; teeth in upper jaw in 2 rows, those of males with outer row of 2 enlarged fangs near rear; lower jaw with three large fangs, females also with enlarged canines; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 11 (10-12); length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 10 (10-11); pectoral fins 18 (17-19); pelvic fins I, 5, disk complete; tail rounded; no scales; no lateral line.

Upper body greenish grey to bluish; snout and lips yellowish brown; a narrow median bright yellow bar from top lip to between front of eyes; a narrow (pupil width) stripe runs high along body from top part of eye ball to front half of tail fin, that stripe yellow on eye and back to operculum, white along body, sometimes with a blue tint at its end on the tail fin; body with a dark grey to blackish eye-width stripe under white stripe; lower part of head and body whitish. Note: yellow bar on snout may be lost in freshly collected dead specimens, exposing the black undercoat.

Reaches: 4 cm.

Habitat: Sponge dweller in lagoon habitats.

Depth: 2-17 m.

Mexico to Honduras.

Note: A member of the E. xanthiprora species complex.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Sponges
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Caribbean endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 17