Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Bathygobius lacertus, Checkerboard Frillfin, Checkerboard Frillfin Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

nape scales rarely - > preopercle edge
lower body: 2 offset rows 6-7 blotches
pectoral 18-20
lateral scales 38-42

Bathygobius lacertus (Poey, 1860)

Checkerboard Frillfin, Checkerboard Frillfin Goby

Body robust; head broad, depressed, with pores; snout bluntly rounded; eyes large, close together; mouth moderate sized, relatively horizontal; upper jaw length 12.5-15.9% SL; tongue with deep notch in front; jaw teeth in bands, without canines; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; dorsal fins VI (none elongate) + I, 9 rays; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal I, 8 rays; pelvic fins fused into a disc; pectoral 19 (18-20), upper 3-5 rays free, silky threads; tail round; scales large, rough, 38-42 on mid-side, present on midline of nape not quite reaching or reaching to a line through rear edge of preopercle, rarely reaching just past that line; no scales on cheek or operculum; no lateral line.

Grayish brown; upper body with 3 indistinct dark saddles, and a 4th saddle on end of tail base; lower body with a checkerboard pattern of 2 rows of 6-7 offset dark blotches, extending from under pectoral fin to just before dark spot on tail fin base, lower row of blotches more diffuse than upper row, and becoming more diffuse towards rear; spines of1st dorsal fin with 1-4 horizontal lines of dark spots across fin; 2nd dorsal fin with thin dark stripes; tail fin with a narrow, short dark bar on its base, and thin dark bars on its outer part.

Reaches 9 cm.

Depth: 0-3 m.

Habitat: A diversity of habitats, including sheltered and exposed rock and sand habitats, in mangroves.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • 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
  • 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
  • 9
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3