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Species: Varicus decorum, Decorated Splitfin Goby

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head 2 yellow bars
body- 5 round yellow blotches mid-side, back- 1-2 rows yellow spots
Ds rows yellow spots; C 4-5 yellow bars
D2 9; A 7-8
scales: body none, C base 2 large, rough
pelvic: rays unbranched, +/- fleshy tips, reach past anus

Varicus decorum Van Tassell, Baldwin & Tornabene, 2016

Decorated Splitfin Goby

Body short, robust; head without pores; both nostrils tubular; a groove across top of front lip; gill opening restricted to length of pectoral fin base; gill membranes with 5 rays; dorsal fin VII (none elongate) + I, 9; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 7-8; pectoral fin 17, rays 12-13 greatly extended, reach well beyond others, to under 2nd dorsal soft ray; pelvic fins I, 5, completely separate, no membrane between 5th rays, no front frenum between spines, all rays unbranched, some may have flattened fleshy tips, 5th ray 1/3- 1/5 length of 4th ray, fins long, extend to between anus & origin of anal fin; scales absent on body; base of tail fin with 2 large, rough scales; no lateral line.

Head and body translucent grey; head with 4 thin yellow bars, 1 under eye, the other along edge of preopercle, two between eyes, a few small yellow spots on nape; body with 5 brownish yellow, round blotches along mid-side, from under 1st dorsal to end of tail base, those decreasing in size to the rear, the last spot distinctly darker; back with one or two alternating rows of 6-10 smaller brownish-yellow spots; dorsal fins translucent, with longitudinally oblique rows of small yellow spots, 2 irregular rows on 1st dorsal, 5-6 rows on 2nd dorsal, forming stripes in the latter; tail fin translucent, with 4-5 thin vertical brownish-yellow bars, the lower 1/5 of the fin sometimes yellow; anal fin white to yellow, the outer ½ suffused with dark grey; pectorals with a yellow spot on upper base, rays yellow; pelvics with yellow rays.

Reaches at least 5.7 cm

Sand and rubble bottoms

Depth range 99-251 m

Known only from Curacao and Bonaire.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Antilles endemic
  • Caribbean endemic
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Island (s) only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5.7
Depth Range Min
  • 99
Depth Range Max
  • 251