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Species: Varicus lacerta, Godzilla Goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head - yellow blotches, iris green
body 4 yellow bars, 1-3 like H
fins yellow/orange
D2 9; A 7
no scales
pelvics: rays many branched, feathery tips, reach past anus

Varicus lacerta Tornabene, Robertson & Baldwin, 2016

Godzilla Goby

Body short, robust; head without pores, many elongate papillae, giving head a hairy appearance; both nostrils tubular; a groove across top of front lip; tongue with slightly indented tip; upper teeth in 2 rows, outer row of large, curved canines gill opening restricted to length of pectoral fin base; gill membranes with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII + I, 9; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 7; pectoral fin 18; pelvic fins I, 5, completely separate, no membrane between 5th rays, no front frenum between spines, rays 1-4 with one major branch and numerous thin branches off each main branch, those rays united by membrane, tips of rays feathery, not flattened and fleshy, 4th ray longest, 5th ray unbranched, fins long, extend behind anus; body and head without scales; no lateral line.

Upper head and body pale grey, tinted yellow, whitish below; head with areas of yellow pigment; iris greenish-yellow speckled with silver and black dots; body with 4 yellow bars speckled with black dots, 1st short, under 1st dorsal fin, 2nd and 3rd long, under soft dorsal, 4th narrow, at end of tail base, 1st 3 bars broad, in form of an H; dorsal fins yellow, outer ~1/3 heavily speckled with silver dots; tail fin with basal ¾ yellow, spangled with orange and white dots, outer part translucent, with heavy sliver speckles, outer edge of fin dark grey suffused with orange; anal fin orange; pectoral fin with base white, with black-speckled yellow blotches at top and bottom corners, rays pink, grading to orange; pelvics pale, washed with pinkish-orange speckles.

Reaches at least 4.3 cm

Rocky bottom

Depth range 129-143 m

Known only from Curacao.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • 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
  • Antilles endemic
  • Caribbean endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.3
Depth Range Min
  • 129
Depth Range Max
  • 143