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Species: Elacatinus puncticulatus, Red-head goby

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head red, yellow to red stripes on top and behind eyes.
flank: row ~ 8 dark blotches

Elacatinus puncticulatus (Ginsburg, 1938)

Redhead Goby

Elongate; head rounded; upper lip connected to snout at front; a pore midway between front of the two eyes; 2 pores on preopercle; no teeth on roof of mouth; tongue with blunt tip; dorsal VII + I, 11 (10-12); anal rays I, 10 (9-10); pectoral rays 20-23; pelvic fins fused in a disc; tail rounded; scales absent from body, 2 large rough scales on tail fin base.

Head entirely red, with a thin yellow stripe along the centerline from the top lip to the center of the nape; eye black with thin yellow vertical bars at the front and rear; a thin yellow stripe behind eye to above pectoral base; a thin bluish stripe from under eye to above the pectoral base; body translucent yellowish, covered with black dots; 5-7 elongate internal black blotches or spots along middle of side and broad blackish internal stripe (continuous or divided in 2) just above abdominal cavity; fins translucent.

Size: attains length of 4.6 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs, frequently found with club urchins (Eucidaris thouarsi).

Depth: 1-21 m.


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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Data
  • Ectoparasites
  • Sessile crustacea
  • Data
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Cortez + Mexican provinces endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 4.6
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 21