Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Ctenogobius sagittula, Lancetail goby, Longtail goby

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side nape dark blotch
cheek: brown stripe; opercle: dark blotch
flank: 5 dark blotches

Ctenogobius sagittula (Günther, 1861)

Longtail Goby, Lancetail Goby

Elongate, compressed body; head short, depressed, cheeks bulbous, snout blunt; eyes large, towards front, narrow between them; 2 pores behind eye, last one above preopercle; an oblique row of papillae posteriorly on operculum; mouth horizontal, large, slightly underneath snout; teeth in several rows on each jaw, inner row of top row much larger, curved, 1-2 large canines near front of lower jaw; no gill rakers on upper first gill arch, one triangular raker at the angle of the arch and 3-4 triangular rakers on the lower arch; dorsal fin VI + I, 13 (rarely 12, 14 or 15); I, 14 (rarely 13 or 15) anal rays; 1 more ray on 2nd dorsal fin than anal fin; pelvics fused to form disc; tail fin long and pointed; body with rough scales, 55-65 in lateral series; predorsal scales extending forward to level of middle of opercle, but scales absent on mid- dorsal line, anterior to dorsal fin origin, remainder of head scaleless.

Head & body light tan; body with 4 dark brown blotches along middle of side and dark brown spot at middle of caudal fin base; a brown stripe on cheek and brown blotch just behind on center of gill cover; a dark blotch on side of nape above pectoral fin base; second dorsal and caudal fin with brown spots.

Size: to at least 20 cm.

Inhabits sand or mud bottoms of shallow bays and estuaries.

Depth: 0-5 m.

California to the Gulf of California to northern Peru.

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  • Brackish
  • Non Marine
  • Freshwater
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Mud
  • Freshwater
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
  • Mangrove
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5