Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Antilligobius nikkiae, Sabre Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

wide orange stripe: large eye to tip C
Ds, A, pelvics: yellow-orange
D1 very long
C long, pointed, asymmetric (notched above)

Antilligobius nikkiae Van Tassell & Colin, 2012

Sabre Goby

Body elongate compressed; snout short, bluntly pointed; eyes large (10-12% SL), close together; mouth large, oblique; tongue slightly indented; teeth conical, slightly curved; front of roof of mouth no teeth; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; gill rakers short & stubby above (5) , long and thin below (11-12); dorsal fin VII (very elongated in both sexes, reaching to or past the end of the base of the dorsal fin) + I, 11-12, length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal I, 11-13; pectorals 18-21; pelvics I, 5, fused to form disc with a scalloped rear margin; tail fin long and pointed, asymmetrical, with upper rear border notched; scales large (21-28 lateral rows) and rough on body; nape (8-10 before dorsal fin), cheek, pectoral base and breast with smooth scales; no lateral line; the only obvious sexual dimorphism is in the shape of the genital papilla: thin & conical in male, thick & bulbous in female.

Pale grey; snout and lower jaw dark grey, with a blue tint; a blue line along the top profile of the nape and body; rear 2/3 of mouth red; iris dark blue-black, with a yellow stripe through its center; a broad yellow-orange stripe from eye back across through operculum, continuing through base of pectoral fin to lower 1/3 of tail base, continuing as a narrowing yellow stripe to end of tail fin just below the tip; blue spots under eye, thin blue stripes along the top and bottom edges of the front of the main yellow body stripe; 1st dorsal fin with membranes yellow; inner 1/2 of 2nd dorsal fin yellow; tail fin with thin yellow upper and lower edges, and a thin yellow stripe extending back from upper edge of tail base; anal fin with a thin yellow stripe near its base; inner margin of pelvics yellow.

Size: reaches 4.3 cm

Lives on reefs; on steep walls and ledges.

Depth range: 73-205 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Near Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • 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 endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • 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
  • 4.3
Depth Range Min
  • 73
Depth Range Max
  • 205