Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Lophogobius cristulatus, Pacific crested-goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

low crest, on nape only
nape scaled to ~ front of crest
D1: outer 1/2 dark + 2-3 pale spots
uniformly dark, scales - dark edges
C: 8-9 dark bars

Lophogobius cristulatus Ginsburg, 1939

Pacific crested-goby

Body robust, somewhat compressed; a low crest on nape extending from or just before dorsal to between rear of eyes; large depression below and in front of eye; cheek with 7 vertical rows of papillae; margin of preopercle straight; 1 pore between center of eyes, another between rear border of eyes; mouth opens at front, oblique, reaches under pupil; teeth in bands; dorsal fin VI (2nd  spine very elongate, reaches to between 4th  ray and beyond base of 2nd  dorsal) + I, 10; anal fin I, 9 rays; pectoral 17-20 (usually 19) rays, not reaching anal fin in adults;  pelvics fused into disc; tail round, about equal to head length; scales large, smooth on breast and on nape back to between 4th-5th  dorsal spine and pectoral base, rough on rest of body; top of nape scaled almost to front of crest; 1-2 rows scales along lower ½ of nape crest; 26-27 lateral rows of scales behind upper pectoral angle, 9-10 rows between anal origin & 2nd dorsal base.

Brown, darker in larger fish, scales with darker edges; 1st  dorsal with light base, outer ½ dark, with 2-3 yellow (female) to orange (male) spots, rear one larger; sometimes 4 brown lines behind eye on lower nape and mid opercle; tail with 8-9 faint bars; other fins pale; young fish with 5 small dark saddles along back, brown blotch behind eye.

Size: 8.6 cm.

Habitat: tidal creeks & mangroves, tide pools on estuarine beaches.

Depth: 0-6 m.

Costa Rica and Panama.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mangrove
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 6