Gobies are some of the smallest fish in the world and dwarfgobies are the smallest of those. Keep reading to learn about five newly discovered species of dwarfgoby.
There are thousands upon thousands of different species of fish in the world, many of which have yet to be discovered. Each year brings new discoveries which expands our knowledge of the world around us and the animals that inhabit it. Scientists recently discovered five new species of dwarfgoby – keep reading to learn more about them.
What is a Dwarfgoby?
The term dwarfgoby and dwarf goby are used interchangeably to refer to the smaller species of goby. A goby is a species of fish belonging to the family Gobiidae. This family includes more than 2,000 separate species over 200 genera. Gobies are typically small fish with most species growing to a maximum length under 4 inches. In fact, gobies are some of the smallest vertebrate animals in the world with several species growing to under 1 cm in length. For the most part, gobies are benthic species, or bottom-dwellers – they often burrow into the substrate to hide.
One of the most interesting thing about the goby is that they have fused pelvic fins that form a sort of disc-shaped sucker that the fish uses to adhere to corals, rocks, and even the walls of the aquarium. Gobies can be found in a variety of locations around the world. These fish can be found in both tropical and temperate regions in shore-marine environments as well as brackish and freshwater environments. Most of the gobies kept for the home aquarium trade are marine species, though there are some freshwater gobies as well.
New Species of Dwarfgobies Reviewed
New species of fish are always being discovered. One recent discovery included not just one, but five new species of dwarfgoby. These species were discovered by researchers with the California Academy of Sciences and the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. All five species belong to the genus Eviota and were found in tropical waters near Fiji. The five new species are listed below:
The Eviota genus includes gobies (mostly dwarfgobies) found in the Indo-Pacific region which encompasses a large area spanning from Africa to Pitcairn Island and from Japan to Australia. Fish in this genus are largely found in coral reefs and many of them have very short life cycles lasting just 3 ½ weeks. Many dwarfgobies in this genus live symbiotically with other marine species such as mushroom corals and many are classified as hermaphrodites.
Top Dwarf Gobies for the Home Aquarium
Keeping gobies in the home aquarium presents a unique challenge. For one thing, you have to be careful about keeping them with other larger species that might view the goby as prey. You also need to be mindful of the type of substrate you choose because gobies like to burrow. Fine-grain sand is the best substrate for gobies, though some species prefer to hide in rock caves. Be sure to do some research on the particular species you plan to keep. There are many different species of dwarf goby, but not all of them are well-suited to the home aquarium. Below you will find an overview of some of the top species of small and dwarf gobies that you can consider for your own aquarium:
Dwarf Pgymy Goby (Pandaka pygmaea) – The dwarf pygmy goby is one of the smallest fish in the world, growing to a maximum size just over ½ inch. This is a freshwater goby found in the rivers of the Philippines, though it has also been found in brackish waters and mangrove swamps. The dwarf pygmy goby is a colorless species, almost transparent, with a large blunt head. It may also have dark spots forming four cross-bands that run along the sides of the body.
Green Clown Goby (Gobiodon atrangulatus) – This species of goby grows up to 1.75 inches in length and can be found in the waters off Fiji and Indonesia. The green clown goby is a very peaceful species and generally considered to be easy to care for. It follows a carnivorous diet and can be kept with other fish, though it may become territorial around others of its own species. These gobies spawn readily in the home aquarium, laying their eggs on the underside of coral branches.
Red Neon Eviota Goby (Eviota nigriventris) – This goby belongs to the same genus as the newly discovered Eviota gobies and it reaches a maximum length around 1 inch. The red neon Eviota goby is named for its bright red horizontal bands running lengthwise along the opaque body. This species is very active and generally peaceful by nature, making it a great addition to the reef tank. These fish tend to fare best in small groups or pairs and they should not be housed with large or aggressive species.
Red Striped Goby (Trimma cana) – The red striped goby is named for its red-and-white striped appearance. This species grows to a maximum length of 1 inch and it is a very peaceful species of goby. These fish are very active and they generally do well in saltwater fish-only and reef tanks. The red striped goby needs plenty of rockwork to hide in and these fish do best in pairs or small groups, as long as they are introduced at the same time. This species should not be kept with large or aggressive species.
Panda Goby (Paragobium lacunicolus) – This goby grows up to 1.5 inches in length and it tends to inhabit coral colonies in the Indo-Pacific region. The Panda goby is a peaceful species that does well in reef tanks outfitted with polyp corals and stocked with other peaceful species. This goby has a stocky build with a large head and they are usually yellow to white in color with black fins. Panda gobies are carnivorous fish that require a varied diet of meaty foods.
Gold Neon Eviota Goby (Eviota pellucida) – Related to the red neon Eviota goby, this species also grows to a maximum of 1 inches in length and it is a peaceful and active species. The gold neon Eviota goby has a largely opaque body with red vertical bands and large, gold-rimmed eyes. These fish do best in pairs or small groups and they prefer tanks with plenty of rockwork to hide in. They need a varied diet of fresh and frozen foods and should be fed twice daily.
Greenbanded Goby (Tigrigobius multifasciatus) – This species of goby is very peaceful and comes from the marine waters near Puerto Rico. The greenbanded goby is named for its vivid green body adorned with iridescent green bands running vertically along the fish’s length. This species enjoys tanks decorated with rockwork and they can be kept individually or in groups of 3 or more. The greenbanded goby is a carnivorous species and it breeds readily in the home aquarium.
Flaming Prawn Goby (Discordipinna griessingeri) – Also known as the spikefin goby, the flaming prawn goby grows to a maximum length around 1 inch. These fish are known for their brilliant red fins and they have dark lateral lines running along the length of their bodies. The flaming prawn goby is an especially good choice for the nano reef tank.
Gobies are a unique and beautiful group of fishes that can be very entertaining to keep in the home aquarium. While there are some freshwater gobies, most species are marine fish and many of them thrive in reef environments. If you have a smaller reef tank and are looking for some new fish to stock in it, consider some of these dwarf gobies.
A recent paper published by the Conservation Research Group and the IUCN shows that more than 30 threatened species endemic to India are still being regularly exported, despite their conservation status.