Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Gobionellus microdon, Estuary goby, Palmtail goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

back - oblique saddles
mid-side - row of blotches
belly wavy bars
cheek & pectoral base - silvery
50-73 lateral scales

Gobionellus microdon (Gilbert, 1892)

Palmtail goby, Estuary goby

Elongate, compressed; head a little compressed, snout broadly rounded; mouth opens at front, oblique; teeth on both jaws fine and numerous, 1-3 rows on top jaw (inner row may be strongly curved), 2-3 rows on bottom jaw, no large canines near front of bottom jaw; front nostril tubular; rear nostril a pit;  eyes large, high on sides of head, between eyes narrow; preopercle canal with 3 pores; a single pore between eyes; 6-7 + 7-8 triangular gill rakers with flexible bases; dorsal fin VI (front spine elongate (filamentous in male) + I, 12; anal I, 12-13; pelvic I, 5 disk complete; tail fin much longer than head, pointed; scales small (50-73 mid-side), rough; head scaleless.

Light tan with a silvery sheen on opercle and, chest and belly; irregular brown oblique, forward-pointing saddles on back; flank with a row of dark blotches separated by dark spots; belly silvery, with ~6 dark wavy bars; dorsal and caudal fins with rows of spots forming stripes and bars, respectively; pelvics dark grey, with white border in female; anal fin grey, darker in male..

Size: to 13 cm.

Inhabits estuaries and brackish mangrove creeks.

Depth: 0-5 m.

SW and eastern Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Non Marine
  • Freshwater
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mangrove
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Herbivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 13
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5