PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sailfin Goby 

Nesogobius pulchellus (Castelnau, 1872)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: VII; I, 9-11
Anal fin spines/rays: I, 9-11
Caudal fin rays: (segmented) 13 (9-10 branched)
Pectoral fin rays: 16-20
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: -
Gill rakers: 0-1 + 5-9 = 6-9

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Genus level detail.
A genus of small well-camouflaged sand-dwelling gobies with many species in Port Phillip Bay, some of which are difficult to identify. They are distinguished on the basis of the number and kind of fin elements, the position and number of scales, head pore patterns, and other features such as colour pattern. And, males and females of the same species are sometimes very different in colour and fin shape.

Order level detail.
A large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
Very large family representing almost 10% percent of all fish species. More than 230 genera and 1500 species are recognised worldwide, and there are more than 90 genera and 330 described species known from Australian waters.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Gobiidae
Genus:
Nesogobius
Species:
pulchellus

General Description

Body relatively deep; first dorsal fin often higher than second dorsal fin, especially in males; second dorsal and anal fins beginning with a spine. Body relatively dark, greyish brown and mottled with reddish spots forming stripes on dorsal fin; a thin brown bar from eye to middle of jaw; midsides with 5-8 dark brown blotches; a thin broken silver stripe just below midsides; a wide v-shaped brown bar before tail; head and anal fin dark in males, fin clear in females; first dorsal fin black anteriorly. To 6 cm.

Biology

A common species on sandy areas. Males signal to others with their high dorsal fin.

Habitat

Sandy areas near seagrass beds and rocky reefs in bays and estuaries, in depths of 0-20 m.

Soft substrates

Reefs

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Gobies

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

6 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Sailfin Goby, Nesogobius pulchellus, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 16 Dec 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6423

Text: creative commons cc by licence