Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Microdesmus dorsipunctatus, Back-spotted worm-goby

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye - not tiny, on side of head
head & anterior side barred
base each D spine with a black spot
chin - knob
A 34-38
pectoral 12-14

Microdesmus dorsipunctatus Dawson, 1968

Back-spotted worm-goby

Slender, wormlike, body height 7% of SL; tail (without fin) < head and body; eyes small but not tiny, not skin covered, on side of head; snout rounded; lower jaw strongly projecting, with small fleshy lump at chin; mouth small, lips thin; teeth in 1-3 rows; gill opening large (not tubular), longer than base of pectoral; dorsal fin spines evenly spaced, XV-XVII, 38-43, origin over tip of pressed-down pectoral; anal II, 34-38; pectoral 12-14 rays; pelvics I, 3, shorter than pectorals; tail fin rounded; dorsal and anal fins confluent with tail fin; scales small, non-overlapping, well separated; body and head scaled except for jaws and head forward of eyes, few or no scales on parts of throat and chest.  

White to tan; bar behind eye onto preopercle; lower jaw with 1-2 bars; top of operculum with dark blotch; prominent dark blotch around base of each dorsal fin spine; upper flank with well defined, short dark bars on front part of body (under front ~ ½ of base of the dorsal fin); dark line along midline of belly.

Size: 12.5 cm.

Habitat: muddy bottoms in mangrove creeks.

Depth: 0-10 m?

Southern Baja and the mouth of the Gulf of California to Panama.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Data deficient
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10