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FAQs on Shrimp/Watchman Gobies Identification

Related Articles: Shrimp Gobies, Marine Scavengers, Alpheid (including Shrimp) Gobies

Related FAQs:   Shrimp Gobies 1, Shrimp Gobies 2, & Shrimp Goby BehaviorShrimp Goby Compatibility, Shrimp Goby SelectionShrimp Goby Systems, Shrimp Goby FeedingShrimp Goby Disease, Shrimp Goby Reproduction, & Alpheid (including Shrimp) GobiesTrue Gobies Gobies 2Goby Identification, Goby Behavior, Goby Selection, Goby Compatibility, Goby Feeding, Goby Systems, Goby Disease, Goby Reproduction, Amblygobius Gobies, Clown GobiesNeon GobiesGenus Coryphopterus Gobies, Mudskippers, Sifter Gobies

Wrong id      6/29/15
Hi team WWM,
Just to flag up at
the fish is likely Amblyeleotris yanoi, not A. steinitzi.
<I do think you're right. Per the caudal colorings alone:
Will change on the morrow>
I'll attach a LFS photo of the same fish.
Kind regards,
<Thank you for this correction. Bob Fenner>

Goby identification    10/11/14
Hi Bob,
I came across a goby that neither myself or the lfs came across this species before. I was hoping to lean on your expertise and identifying this goby. The lfs did not have anything on their manifest either. I believe they were shipped as wheeler gobies with their order. Pics are below. Thank you again. One day I might stump you lol.
<Today's your day. Have looked through my references... Don't know what this is... A gobiid... even a commensal w/ Alpheids... but what? Perhaps undescribed. Bob Fenner>

Goby identification    10/11/14
Hi Bob,
Here are a few more pics. Its hard from my phone to get a real good picture.
<No help. B>


Re: Goby identification    10/12/14
Hi Bob,
He came out this morning and hopefully you can see a little better with the pics. Since he's a new unnamed species, what can you do to name him? He's about 1.5" and has orange speckles all over. Based on his looks he definitely in the gobiid family. Thank you again.
<Still don't know other than my prev. guess... some sort of Shrimp Goby.
None I've seen before. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goby identification    10/12/14

Hi Bob,
Man..... I think i found him through the internet. Let me know what you think. I was pumped to have something that wasn't seen in the trade. He is still a rare find.
<As good a guess.... a Shrimpgoby genus. B>


Help for positive ID in Amblyeleotris pair. WWM Corr.     10/1/14
Dear WWM crew,
<Dr. A>
I am writing to ask for help in positive id of my recently purchased pair of gobies.
My ID is Metallic Goby - Amblyeleotris latifasciata.
I went to your website that I use as a reference whenever in doubt and found on
 http://www.wetwebmedia.com/shrpgobid.htm a photo of a specimen of the same species as my gobies, identified as Amblyeleotris fasciata, a Red Banded Prawn Goby. I think a quick look on FishBase for both species makes it very obvious that it is actually a Metallic Goby rather than a Red Banded.
<All my IDs are tentative... in other words, what is shown on WWM may be in error. Identifications may be forty or more years old... THIS ONE!? I posted just yesterday!!! From the most recent trip to Bali... and I agree; from several points (the partner Alpheid, markings, distribution...); this is much more likely A. latifasciata. Will change and move on WWM>
Now to get to the reason of needing a positive ID. I think I've got a good chance of breeding them as I've seen larvae from them.
I've purchased my two specimens from one of my trusted LFS in Bracknell, UK. These fish are coming in the UK via Tropical Marine Center http://www.tropicalmarinecentre.co.uk/en/livestock.aspx ,
<Ahh; a fave co.; friends there>
where they are conditioned and then distributed to LFS for sale. They are labeling them as paradise goby - Amblyeleotris diagonalis (this is the page in their catalogue
http://catalogue.tropicalmarinecentre.co.uk/Detail.aspx?sku=06350&lang=en )
They arrived in my tank on 28/07/2014 (see picture during acclimation
<Appear to be A. latifasciata>
I've documented the aquarium progress in this topic um02122's Lagoon .
The aquarium is only 10 US Gallons, but this was the largest temporary tank I could accommodate (I am in the planning of a bigger reef and this goby was on the fish list, so when I've seen them at the LFS I bought them on spot; there was a second pair I've managed to form but they vanished due to a nasty bacterial infection that's dooming one of the old reef tanks - therefore the reason to upgrade and start from scratch). I suppose that 10G might actually be a good habitat for a breeding pair though.
<A bit too small for my liking... I'd move them to something at least twice this volume; four times better. For stability's sake>
There are also two Yasha goby females in this tank (the intention is to have a pair, but failed to identify a male in the last three months). And not at last, an Alpheus bellulus, which really helped in forming this pair and temperate the aggression between the two Yasha gobies.
<Ah yes>
The tank is quite new (started 18/07/2014) but is maturing well and there are no detectable NH3 and NO2 in it. At the moment it's going through a Cyano bloom which I'm trying to manage by keeping things as stable as
possible and sticking to my routine maintenance.
On 28/07/2014 in the evening I've noticed fish larvae at the surface and since the two gobies are the only fish pair in the tank, I assume it's from the Amblyeleotris pair.
<I'd be looking under a microscope at these...>
This is a short film I've attempted to document the event. Hope it helps in clarifying if these are fish fry.

<Do appear and move like larval fish/es>
I also took plenty of more or less useful photos with the fries. If the film is not conclusive, I could provide them.
<Please do>
I always wanted to breed clownfish, but my two pairs of A. ocellaris refused to give me the opportunity (yet). So this event came at a good moment. As far as I'm aware there are no reports of Amblyeleotris successful breeding attempts in the captivity. But I hope it is not very different from the Yellow Watchman Goby which is being captive bred.
<Are similar>
My plan is to watch for the next hatching so I can reliable predict future hatchings, then start my Rotifer Strain-S cultures and be prepared with continuation food for juveniles. I've purchased the air pumps, sponge
filters and I am planning on the plankton culture vessels and the plankton itself.
Also, wanted some clarification regarding the species as maybe somebody already did this and could ease my attempt with information.
<I don't recall accounts of their spawning, rearing... but MBI, the Breeder's Registry might be contacted re>
Sorry for the long email, I've tried to give as much information as I could. I could imagine how happy I am.
Kind regards,
<Thank you for the correction, input-sharing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help for positive ID in Amblyeleotris pair       10/2/14

Thank you for the quick and useful reply.
<Thank you for your correction; careful input>
Please feel free to use any photos that are linked to the previous email and any photos I've posted on the tank journal. No matter how much useful text, a photo is usually worth a thousand words and adds great value for future reference.
<I agree>
Please advise of the best way to send more photos.
<As jpg attachments of a few hundred Kbytes>
While nice to have photos of the fish in the wild, those usually don't allow for the same level of detail as the ones taken in the tank. I assume that attaching them to email poses a problem as they are large. I suppose Picasa should be acceptable?
<Ah yes>
<And you; Bob Fenner>

trouble identifying a Goby    8/24/12
Hello crew,
 I have recently acquired a pair of gobies and have been having some trouble finding information on them. The problem is not finding a name the problem is that I have found several species names that have been associated with the same fish. Some of the names include *Priolepis boreus*, * Priolepis semidolatia*, and* Priolepis acensionis*. I am assuming these are all similar sp. that have had photos erroneously been mislabeled between each other.
<Highly likely so... Fishbase.org lists all three as valid species, offers short descriptions of two, one pic: 
But you'll likely have to look up the original descriptions (they're highlighted on the species pages)>
I am unable to get a picture as these are very cryptic fish but I am certain that the fish listed here is the same http://www.aquariumphoto.dk/priolepis_semidoliata.htm, just not sure if they have the correct species listed.
<Me neither>
These fish are always under the ledges of the rock work and dart out for food, upside down no less :). I would really like to learn more about these fascinating fish so any help in tracking down their correct ID would be appreciated.
<May not be much on record... I take it you have searched at least on the Net re this genus. Probably what is listed as valid for one species will apply to others husbandry. I would "do a literature search"... some input
re here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm
Bob Fenner>

Shrimp Goby ID 3/10/09 Hello, Crew <Hi Karrie> I was told this was a Dragon Goby by the LFS. I have searched and come up with nothing under that name .Could you please identify for me ? <Your LFS is dead wrong, is not Gobioides broussonnetii (Dragon Goby). What you have is Amblyeleotris fasciata, a Red Banded Prawn Goby.> Much appreciated <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Karrie

Mystery Goby, Or Common Species in Disguise?   5/24/07 Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy tonight!> I've had a Goby for years and I've always known it as a Chalk Goby. I've noticed a few questions similar to my own but never an answer. What isn't clear on the enclosed photo is the that it has a black dot on it's fin. Any chance you can tell me the scientific name please. Many thanks Alison <Well, Alison- this certainly is a cute little fish! I'll go out on a limb and suggest that this is an Amblyeleotris species, of which there are literally dozens. It could possibly be a regional variation of a common, or at least, known species, or an aberrant color morph. Or, it might even be an undescribed species. I'd break out your favorite caffeinated beverage, a fresh batch of popcorn, and spend a little quality time on fishbase.org looking at the Amblyeleotris genus. Could possibly be a species from the genus Valenciennea, but I'm leaning towards Amblyeleotris. Regardless, he sure is a cool little guy...Hope that you enjoy him! regards, Scott F.>

Moose & Squirrel? Nope, Goby & Shrimp... (04/18/03) Thank you in advance for any assistance you might provide.... <Ananda the goby-fan here tonight...> I am looking for a scientific name of a partner goby that I have in my tank.   <Detective work is fun...!> It was called a "Yasser Haji" goby.... who knows if the spelling is good or even accurate.   <Well, Mr. Arafat would agree with the spelling of Yasser, and others might like the spelling of Haji, but the gobies sure don't know why they're saddled with such a name... nor do I. So far, Google searches on any combination of "Yasser", "Haji", and "goby" are turning up nothing.> He appears to be very similar to a Stonogobiops nematodes, although he has horizontal red stripes on a white background with a mottled red and white face.  He has the same filamentous fin.  It appears to extend almost as long as his body, which is less than 2" long.  He also has a yellowish tail fin.   <Ah, now we're getting somewhere. In Scott Michael's book "Marine Fishes", the Stonogobiops nematodes is on p. 355. Flipping the page, I see what I think is your fish, listed as "Stonogobiops sp." on p. 356. The "sp." designation means it hadn't been given a species designation yet. But Fishbase.org has a handy search feature. A search on the genus "Stonogobiops" shows two interesting entries: "Stonogobiops sp.", and "Stonogobiops yasha". More interestingly, the latter is considered the correct name for the former. The detailed entry page has no photo, but the description fits. A quick check of the remaining Stonogobiops listings, and I'm fairly certain that S. yasha is the fish. The species name was given in 2001, after the book Marine Fishes was written, so that fits, too.> I had his partner too but it has apparently died during a molt.  It was a brilliant red and white also and had the characteristics of a mantis shrimp, approximately 1" long. <Fishbase lists Alpheus randalli as this fish's shrimp partner. A quick Google search on "Alpheus randalli" turns up web pages with photos of both the shrimp *and* the goby! And a couple of pages show the goby clearly labeled as Stonogobiops yasha. (I must make one clarification comment -- the A. randalli shrimp does not have the characteristics of a mantis shrimp, but of a pistol shrimp. In fact, the common name of your shrimp is the Randall's snapping shrimp. Many people mistake the very loud popping noise of pistol shrimp for a noise made by a mantis shrimp, but most mantis shrimp are actually rather quiet. Well, until you give them some food.... but that's another topic.)> Any information I can provide I will.... and thank you. David Snider <Thanks for writing -- I now know the species name of this cute little goby. --Ananda>

Cryptocentrus cyanotaenia I am looking for any information on this particular goby.  I have heard it called Peach Goby (See - http://www.reefcorner54.com/GobyCity-PeachShrimpGoby.htm for a picture), Blue Banded Goby and Bluelined Shrimp Goby.  The last name is what I am interested in.  Does this particular goby live with pistol shrimps? <Yes. Please see here re this species: http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=56816&genusname=Cryptocentrus&speciesname=cyanotaenia> I have one of these gobies and wish to house him with a pistol shrimp, but I want to make sure he is a 'pistol shrimp type' goby.  Any information or any help on finding info on this shrimp would be appreciated. <It may take to a given Alpheus species. I encourage you to place a small length of small diameter PVC pipe in your substrate where you want these animals to associate... and place the shrimp near here initially. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bobby

Gobies/shrimp relationships I just picked up what is a suspected pair of Mexican red head gobies.  I had never seen this goby before but fell in love with them on site.  I am trying to figure out what would be a good shrimp to pair up.  I few facts: Three (3), yes three gallon, micro reef tank with: the two gobies, a small feather duster, two mushrooms (one red one purple), 5 sand sifting snails, one black turbo snail, two astrea snails, two small hermit crabs (one all white, and the other white with orange spots {yep, I know he will get probably get big just did not want him destroying my large reef tank}.  I think that is it, oh wait.  I am running 3 watts a gallon and all water params seem fine. I guess I am also wondering if I need a shrimp per goby or will they be nice and share? <I'm not familiar with exactly what goby you have.  Any way you can attach a pic of it?  Try searching fishbase.org to see if you can come up with the genus or species if possible.  The only red headed goby I've heard of does not live commensally with a pistol shrimp.> Mario Nickerson

Goby and wrasse questions... Champagne livestock tastes, Bud tank   8/23/06 Hi. <Hey there!>     I have a 45 gallon tank with the following critters - a clownfish (currently residing in an anemone), firefish goby, pajama cardinal, diamond sand goby, scarlet cleaner shrimp, some Christmas tree rocks, some coral frags, some snails and a scarlet legged cleaner crab.      I saw a beautiful fish the other day, the store rep said it was an African Aurora Goby which I think is called Amblyeleotris aurora?) <Maybe> and he priced it at $80. <Man! I got out of the fish collection biz much too soon!> I looked on an internet site and saw something very similar but it was called a Pinkbar goby (for $30), and it was listed as originating from either Indo Pacific or Maldives, aka Cryptocentrus aurora. They look so similar to me, is there any difference? <Mmm, nope... try putting both names into fishbase.org...: http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=12694&genusname=Amblyeleotris&speciesname=aurora is the same species... is an Amblyeleotris> And is there a difference between the Indo Pacific one and the Maldives one? <Mmm, maybe slight geographic variation in color, markings... and likely cost... the further away... the higher> Also, are they hard to keep, and will there be any compatibility problems with my current fish?    <Your 45 may be too small to provide sufficient habitat for this shy species to "feel comfortable"... Do you intend to supply an appropriate Alpheid symbiont?   I also saw a lovely leopard wrasse; again, would there be any compatibility or feeding problems with this fish?      Thanks for your time,      Ak <I would not encourage someone to try a genus Macropharyngodon labrid in such a setting. Bob Fenner>  

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