Family: GOBIIDAE, Gobies, Crested Gobies, Eel-Gobies, Frillfins, Mudsuckers
GOBIES, CRESTED GOBIES, EEL-GOBIES, FRILLFINS, MUDSUCKERS
Most gobies are small fishes, < 10 cm, but can get to 60 cm; some of the smallest known vertebrates in the world are included in this family. Gobies have elongate, stout bodies; the head is short and broad, with a rounded snout, often with barbels; teeth small, sharp, conical, in 1-several rows on jaws; gill membranes broadly joined to body under throat, with 5 rays; usually 2 dorsal fins, 1st with IV-VIII slender spines, 2nd I, 9-18; length of 2nd dorsal base > distance from 2nd dorsal base to tail fin; anal fin I, 9-18; pelvic fins long, I, 5, fins separate or partially to completely fused to form a disc or plate; head and body scaleless to completely or partly scaled, scales smooth to rough; head with sensory pores and papillae; no lateral line on body.
The gobies are the largest family of marine fishes in the world with about 238 genera and 1450 species, most of which inhabit the vast Indo-Pacific region. In shallow marine and estuarine habitats in our region there are 132 known species, from 35 genera.
PREPARED BY JAMES VAN TASSELL AND D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MURDY (2002)