GobyNet provides information for researchers, conservation biologists, aquarists and students. Find information necessary for the identification, biology, conservation, breeding and study of gobioid fishes here. Comments? Suggestions? Contact Luke Tornabene at Luke.Tornabene@gmail.com or James Van Tassell at jvantassell@amnh.org

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Definitions  All definitions

ID Term Category Definition
7 Abdomen External anatomy The belly or lower surface of a fish, especially between the pelvic fins and the anus.
8 Abdominal External anatomy Refers to the location of the pelvic fins on the belly
18 Anadromous Life History Moving from the sea into fresh water to spawn, as in salmons and shads.
9 Anal fin External anatomy A median fin located on the undersurface, usually just behind the anus; rarely notched or subdivided.
110 Anal fin base External anatomy Is measured from the insertion of the spine to the insertion of the last ray with the body.
10 Anterior External anatomy Front; located toward the front.
11 Anus External anatomy The rear external opening of the digestive tract also called the vent. Located behind the pelvic fin and infront of the anal fin.
12 Axil External anatomy The inner base of a pectoral fin similar to what would be called the "armpit."
19 Bar External anatomy A vertical band of color. (Compare with stripe)
20 Barbel External anatomy An elongate projection (usually fleshy and whiskerlike) Found on the lower surface of the head, near the mouth, or on the side of the head in some fishes. In gobies the structures are generally small (less that eye diameter).
21 Base of Fin External anatomy The part of a fin that is attached to the body.
34 Basicaudal scale External anatomy A modified ctenoid scale with elongate ctenii generally found at the bas of the caudal fin. Sometimes found along the ventral surface of the body as in the genus Evermannichthys.
123 Basioccipital Osetology The basioccipital bone forms tha posteromedial cranial floor. The bone is bilaminar and approximately Y-shaped i ventrodorsal aspect. The arms of the Y project anteriorly, while the stem projects posteriorly as the large circular centrum-like surface articulating with the centrum of the first vertebra. (Birdsong 1975)
111 Body depth at anal fin origin External anatomy The dorsal ventral depth of the body measured at the insertion of the first anal fin spine.
22 Branchiostegal rays Internal Anatomy Ray like bony supports for the gill membranes, located at the throat.
23 Breast External anatomy The chest area; usually from in front of the pelvic fins to the gill opening.
24 Canine Internal Anatomy A pointed, conical tooth, which is usually larger than the surrounding teeth.
13 Cartilaginous Internal Anatomy Made of cartilage. Cartilage is the translucent material that makes up the skeleton of young fishes, which persists in adults of some species (notably sharks and rays) but is largely converted to bone in most fishes.
25 Caudal fin External anatomy A median fin at the rear of the body; the "tail fin."
26 Caudal peduncle External anatomy The narrower part of the body just before the caudal fin; usually refers to the part of a fish between the rear of the anal fin to the base of the caudle fin.
27 Cirrus External anatomy A small, thin flap of skin; a fleshy appendage that can be located anywhere on the fish (on the eyeball, on a nostril, on the top of the head, along the latrine line, ect.).
28 Compressed External anatomy Flattened from side to side.
29 Concave External anatomy Bowed or curved inward.
30 Crescent-shaped External anatomy Shaped like a quarter moon. Used to describe the shape of the caudal fin, or a pigmented patches on a fish's body.
31 Ctenoid External anatomy A type of scale. The rear (exposed) edge of each scale is toothed, making the scale rough to the touch.
32 Cycloid External anatomy A type of scale, with a smooth rear edge which makes the scale smooth to the touch.
35 Disk External anatomy 1) The flat, nearly round body of skates and rays, formed by pectoral fins that are fully attached to the body 2) An suction like organ in some fishes such as in the clingfish
36 Dorsal External anatomy Refers to the top of the fish.
37 Dorsal fin External anatomy a median fin on the back, often notched or subdivided; may be divided into two or more seperate fins. The first dorsal (D1) is generally composed of non-flexable spines and the second dorsal (D2) composed of a flexible spine followed by segmented rays (in Gobiidae)
38 Embedded External anatomy Used to describe scales that are buried or wholly covered by skin
120 Epiotic Osetology The bilaminar epiotic bones form a major portion of the posterior cranial roof, occupying not only the epiotic area, but that area usually occupied by the parietals. The parietal bones are absent i all gobioid fishes. (Birdsong 1975)
117 ethmoid, lateral Osetology The paired lateral ethmoids are laterally projecting fan-shaped bones that form the major portion of the anterior walls of the orbit. The lateral ethmoid forms a syndesmotic joint with the anterolateral surface of the median ethmoid. Anteromedially, there is a small shelf that articulates with the ethmoid process of the palatine. At its lateroventral corner the lateral ethmoid articulates with the lacrymal.
116 ethmoid, median Osetology The large complex median ethmoid bone is dorsally overlapped by the frontals and ventrally joined through cartilage to the parasphenoid. The aterolateral surfaces are synchondrally joined to the respective lateral ethmoids. The anterior face is produced into two transverse shelves to form a deep groove into which the posteromedial portion of the ethmoid cartilage is inserted. On its dorsal surface two small projections serve as points of attachment for the maxillary-ethmoid ligaments. A thin, bilaminar sheet of bone projects ventrally from the midline of the median ethmoid and forms a partial septum between the orbits anteriorly. (Birdsong 1975)
122 Exoccipital Osetology The bilaminar exoccipital bones form most of the posterior cranial wall and the walls, roof and floor of the foramen magnum. The exoccipitals are synchondrally joied along the dorsal midlie of the cranium, the joint being overlapped for most of the exxtent by the supraoccipital. Ventromedial projections of each exoccipital meet along the midlie of the floor of the foramen magnum, thus overlapping the basioccipital and excluding it from participation in the foramen magnum. (Birdsong 1975)
39 Eyespot External anatomy An eyelike, pigmented spot; usually a dark round circle, bordered by a ring of pale pigment. Also known as an ocellus.
40 Filamentous External anatomy Threadlike; usually refers to elongated fin rays or barbell.
41 Forked External anatomy Usually applied to a caudal fin with a distinct upper and lower lobe, seperated by a deep notch.
42 Gas bladder Internal Anatomy An air sac found in many fishes, which is located under the spinal column, above the gut cavity; also known as the swim bladder.
43 Genital papilla External anatomy A small, fleshy swelling or projection near the anus in gobioid fishes, in female gobies it is generally a bulbous like structure and in males an elongate pointed structure.
48 Gill arch Internal Anatomy The bony support to which the gill filaments and gill rakers are attached.
49 Gill chamber Internal Anatomy The cavity where the gills are located.
50 Gill cover External anatomy A bony flap that covers the outside of the gill chamber. Composed of the opercle bones; preopercle, opercle, subopercle, interopercle.
51 Gill openings External anatomy The openings at the rear of the head, from the gill chamber to the outside (generall one on each side); known as gill slits in sharks and rays, where there are generally more that one on each side.
52 Gill rakers Internal Anatomy Bony, toothlike projections from the front edge of the gill arches, opposite the gill filaments; often used as water filters to trap food items between the gill arches.
53 Gill slits External anatomy The slit-like gill openings (5-7 on each side) in sharks and rays.
44 Gills Internal Anatomy organs in fishes which include the highly vascularized filaments that are used to extract oxygen from the water.
54 Habitat Environment The place where a fish (or other kind of plant or animal) is found.
109 Head canal pores External anatomy A series of openings in the head canal system. The image illustrates the terminology used by Akihito 1986 for a gobioid with two separate canals between the eyes.If there were a single canal, pore C would be denoted as C(s) and pore D as D(s)
55 Head length External anatomy The length as measured from the tip of the snout to the rear edge of the gill cover
56 Herbivorous Life History Feeds on plants.
57 Hermaphrodite Life History Having both male and female organs in one body.
58 Incised External anatomy Cut away or notched ( such as the fin membranes between the spines).
59 Incisors Internal Anatomy Front teeth that are flattened to form a cutting edge.
124 Intercalars Osetology The paired intercalars are small thi bones applied to the ventral surface of the cranium and separated by the posterior portion of the parashpenoid. Ateriorly the itercalar slightly overlaps the prootic and posteriorly it overlaps the exocciptal and basioccipital. (Birdsong 1975)
60 Intertidal Environment The area between high-water mark and low-water mark. Intertidal fishes live in this area, especially tidepool fishes.
61 Isthmus External anatomy A narrow extension of the throat between the gill chambers.
62 Jugular External anatomy In the throat area; usually refers to location of the pelvic fins.
63 Juvenile Life History The imature stage, generally a smaller version of the adult.
128 Lacrymal Osetology The paired lacrymal bones are the only remaining vestiges of the irforbital series. Each thin, triagular pacrymal is loosely joied by a ligament to the ventrolateral corner of its respective lateral ethmoid. (Birdsong 1975)
64 Larva Life History The newly hatched fish; the developmental stage of a fish before it becomes a juvenile.
65 Lateral External anatomy Side of the body; on the side.
66 Lateral line External anatomy A row of porelike openings on head and body; usually applied to the series of pores or pored scales along the side of the fish's body.
67 Lunate External anatomy Crescent shaped; usually refers to the shape of the caudal fin.
114 Maxilla Osetology A bone in the upper jaw. In gobioid fishes it is movable and generally does not possess teeth.
68 Maxillary Internal Anatomy A bone in the upper jaw, comprising most of the upper jaw or only the rear part of the upper jaw.
69 Median fin External anatomy One of the unpaired fins located on the midline (on the median plane, which divides the body vertically into two halves) the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins.
70 Molar Internal Anatomy A flat topped tooth used for crushing food.
71 Naked External anatomy Smooth or unscaled
129 Nasal bones Osetology The paired nasal bones lie suspended in connective tissue over the ethmoid region of the skull. Each nasal forms a poorly-ossified roofless trough that is contiguous with the supraorbital trough of its respective frontal bone and houses the anterior extent of the supraorbital latersensory canal. (Birdsong 1975)
72 Nictitating eyelid External anatomy A membrane of skin that can be extended over the eye in some sharks and bony fishes.
73 Nocturnal Life History Active at night.
74 Nostril External anatomy A nasal opening. Fish generally have two on each side, the anterior and posterior nostril.
75 Notched External anatomy Indented; generally refers to a fin in which some rays (at the middle) are shorter
76 Ocellus External anatomy An eyelike, pigmented spot; usually dark, bordered by a ring of pale pigment.
45 Opercle External anatomy The thin bone forming most of the gill cover.
46 Orbit External anatomy The bony sturcture that contains the eye.
47 Orbital External anatomy Related to the eye. (See also interorbital, suborbital)
77 Oviparous Life History Egg laying. The eggs develop into embryos after being laid by the female.
78 Ovoviviparous Life History Another type of embryonic development, in which the fertilized eggs complete all or nearly all of their development inside the female's body before they hatch. (Compare with viviparous.)
79 Papilla External anatomy A small fleshy knob or projection
127 Parasphenoid Osetology The paraspheoid forms much of the medial floor of the skull. Anteriorly the parasphenoid is produced into a arrow process that separates the ornits and, at its anyerior extent, overlaps the posterior process of the vomer. The parasphenoid overlaps the prootic laterally and the basioccpitals posteriorly. (Birdsong 1975)
80 Pelvic fin External anatomy One of a pair of fins on the lower surface of the body, usually located below the pectoral fins. In gobies the two fins are generall united into a disk-like structure.
81 Pore External anatomy A tiny opening in the skin; usually involved with sensory perception in fishes.
82 Posterior External anatomy Rear, behind toward the rear
113 Premaxilla Osetology One of the bones in the upper jaw. In gobioid fishes it generally the bone that contains most of the teeth.
83 Preopercle Internal Anatomy A cheek bone, at the front of the gill cover.
125 Prootic Osetology The paired prootic bones for the aterolateral floor of the nrain case. Laterally the prootic forms synchondral joits with the sphenotic and the pterotic; posteriorly it forms the aterior margin of the subtemporal fossa and is overlapped by the intercalar posteomedially and the parasphenoid medially. (Birdsong 1975)
84 Protrusible External anatomy Refers to the mouth; having jaws that can be protruded (thrust forward and out).
126 Pterospheniod Osetology The paired pterospheniod bones (dermosphenotic of Miller 1963, alisphenoid of Matsubara and Iwai 1959) lie beneath the frontal bones near the posterior ends of the orbits. The pterosphenoid is composed of a bilaminar, roughly semicircular "body" with a ventromedially projected process. The body of the pterosphenoid is synchondrally joied to the frontal, sphenotic and prootic bones. The ventromedial process is synchondrally joined to the parasphenoid and overlaps a portion of the prootic. (Birdsong 1975)
119 Pterotic Osetology Each pterotic bone forms the posterolateral wall of the cranium. The pterotic is synchondrally joined to the sphenotic and prootic anteriorly, the epiotic dorsomedially, and the exoccipital posteriorly. (Birdsong 1975)
91 Ray External anatomy A flexible, segmented fin element which is often branched.
85 Reticulate External anatomy Color markings in a chainlike pattern or network.
86 Rostral External anatomy Pertaining to the snout; a beaklike extension or plate at the tip of the snout.
87 Scute External anatomy A bony projection, often a modified scale.
112 Sensory papillae - longitudinal External anatomy A series of neuromast cells found on the heads of gobioids that are arranged in two basic patterns. A longitudinal pattern or a transverse pattern. This diagram illustrates a typical longitudinal pattern. Redrawn from Miller after Sanzo (1911)
88 Serrate External anatomy Saw-like; usually refers to a sawtoothed edge.
89 Snout External anatomy The part of head in front of the eyes.
90 Soft dorsal fin External anatomy A median fin on the back, composed entirely of soft fin rays, or having one stiff or flexible spine at the front.
118 Sphenotic Osetology The paired sphenotic boes form the posterolateral margins of the orbits. The sphenotic is overlapped by the frontal bone dorsally and synchondrally joied to the parasphenoid anteromedially, the prootic ventromedially, and the pterotic posteriorly. (Birdsong 1975)
92 Spine External anatomy (1) A bony projection usually on the head. (2) A single hard, unbranched and non-segmented element in a fin.
93 Stripe External anatomy A horizontal band of color. (Compare with bar.)
94 Suborbital External anatomy Below the eyes.
95 Subspecies Life History A geographic subgroup within one species
96 Subtidal Environment Just below the low water mark; also refers to fishes living in this area.
121 Supraocciptal Osetology The supraocciptal bone occupies the posteromedial area of the cranial roof. Along its anterior margin the supraoccipital is rather broadly overlapped by the frontals. Along its posterolateral margins it overlaps the epiotics and exoccipitals. Along its midline the supraocciptal send up a sagittal crest that is continuous with the sagittal crest of the frontal bones. (Birdsong 1975)
97 Tail External anatomy The area of the body behind the anus in most fishes (not just the tail fin). Composed of the caudal peduncle and caudal fin.
98 Territorial Life History Defending an area (such as a burrow, reef crevice or breeding site).
99 Testis Internal Anatomy Male reproductive gland.
100 Thoracic External anatomy In the breast area, generally refers to the location of the pelvic fin.
101 Truncate External anatomy Having a sqaure cut rear edge (refers to the shape of the caudal fin).
102 Tubercles External anatomy Small (often cone shaped) projections.
103 Vent External anatomy The combined external opening of the digestive, urinary, and reproductive tubes.
104 Ventral External anatomy On the lower surface.
105 Vermiculations External anatomy A color pattern of short, wavy (often wormlike) lines or spots.
106 Viviparous Life History Giving birth to live young. The young are nourished by a placentalike structure in the mother before their birth. (Compare with ovoviviparous and oviparous.)
115 Vomer. Osetology The toothless vomer is a dorsoventrally flattened bone, anteriorly broadened and posteriorly produced into a narrow process. The posterior process is overlapped by and closely joined to, the anterior extention of the parasphenoid. The broad, anterior portion of the vomer is completely overlain by the ethmoid cartilage. (Birdsong 1975)
107 Vomerine Internal Anatomy Pertaining to the vomer usually a median bone in the front of the roof of the mouth; often used to describe location of teeth on this bone.