Speckled Sandgoby 

Nesogobius sp 3

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Dorsal fin spines/rays: VI; I, 9-10
Anal fin spines/rays: 8-9
Caudal fin rays: (segmented) 13 (9 branched)
Pectoral fin rays: 17-19
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: -
Gill rakers: 0 + 6-7 = 6-7

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.



General Description

Body slender, head broader than deep, eyes almost touching; sensory pores on head; gill openings broad; scales absent from head; two dorsal fins, the first low in females, tall in males; second dorsal fin deeply concave, males with anterior rays much longer than hind rays, distinctly elevated, giving the fin a falcate appearance. Translucent to sandy; midsides with a row of blue dashes and widely-spaced tiny, brown or orange spots. Males easily recognisable with a dark spot on base of end of first dorsal fin and a sickle-shaped second dorsal fin. To 4 cm.


On sand, often in coastal seagrass beds, in depths of 2-10 m.

Soft substrates

Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, including western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Gobies


Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

5 cm

Commercial Species


Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

sp 3


Conservation Status

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


article author Bray, D.J.

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


article author Gomon, M.F.

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


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Speckled Sandgoby, Nesogobius , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 02 Mar 2024,

Text: creative commons cc by licence