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Gobies and Dartfish

Picture of a Catalina Goby, Synchiropus splendidusCatalina GobyPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough

     Gobies live in holes either found or dug from the sand which serves as a place to bolt into when danger is near, while the Dartfish or Dart Gobies (which are not bottom oriented), swim above their protective caves!

   The Gobies comprise a very large family of fish about which little is known. They are similar to the blennies with long, blunt heads, except they are usually more colorful. Their pelvic fins are fused to provide a 'suction disc' which they use to perch on rocks and the sea floor. The Dartfish, also known as Dart Gobies, swim above the rockwork. They are primarily meat eaters so brine shrimp and finely chopped meat or fish can be fed in the aquarium.

   It is usually very difficult to tell males from females though during spawning males may change color and its fins may elongate during the spawning period. This is not the case with all species though. Spawning occurs in borrows or caves with the eggs being guarded by the male. Several species have been spawned in aquariums including Gobiosoma oceanops, and Lythrypnus dalli.

For more Information on keeping marine fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium


Click for more info on Catalina goby
Lythrypnus dalli
Click for more info on Cave Goby
Coryphopterus glaucofraenum
Click for more info on Golden-headed Sleeper Goby
Valenciennea strigata
Click for more info on Neon Goby
Elacatinus oceanops
Click for more info on Pink-Spotted Shrimp Goby
Cryptocentrus leptocephalus

Elusive Blue-Banded Gobi (Lythrypnus dalli) Catalina Goby

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Catalina Goby in the wild

This video shows the Catalina Goby in it's natural habitat. They are quite small and look more orange with the light that is being used. Note how quickly they dart around. They are found in pairs or harems of one male to 2 to 7 females. Note the Spiny Sea Urchin in the background? They will take refuse in the urchins spines when threatened. They also can change from female to male and back again!


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