Microgobius gulosus
(Girard 1858)
Family Gobiidae

Lateral view of a clown goby
This clown goby was collected in Brevard County, Florida in 2014. This fish is now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 187947. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The clown goby is a member of the goby family. It has an elongate body that tapers posteriorly to the caudal penduncle, and a large head with a strongly projecting lower jaw. There are dark brown blotches on the tan to gray head and body, and a white stripe across the cheek. There is an iridescent white bar below the first dorsal fin, and the pelvic fins are united. Males are generally larger and females – typically smaller – have spotted fins. The clown goby is a marine species that inhabits primarily low-energy tidal zones, sometimes vegetated and with sand or mud substrates. These environments can include bays, tidal creeks, canals, ditches and coastal rivers.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Marine invader
  • Florida Distribution — Western and North Central drainages, the Gulf Coast, South Florida and the Atlantic Coast
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