The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Clown goby
Clown goby, Microgobius gulosus
: Animalia
: Chordata
: Actinopterygii
: Perciformes
: Gobiidae

Many, e.g.

The Gobies form the family Gobiidae, the largest family of marine fishes, with over 2000 species. Among the most typical members of the family are the Mudskippers. While fish from several different genera bear this name, most mudskippers are classified in one of two genera, Gobius and Periophthalmus

Periophtalmus barbarus (which has also been known as P. cantonensis and as Gobius barbarus) is a typical mudskipper. This fish is found in tidal areas from Japan to East Indies, India South Pacific Islands, East Africa, and Australia. It usually is about 1 foot long. This fish can jump, walk, skip, and see in the air. It is said that a mudskipper is agile enough to outrun a boy. It has two big bulgy eyes at the top of its head that are very close together. It can control its eyes and one eye can look above water while the other can look under water. This fish has strong muscles and has been reported to have jumped over 20 feet. The fish lives in mudholes and can move about in a root system of a swamp. A pair of these fish will engage in fights if kept together. Gobies are not generally suitable for captivity, although they are sometimes kept in aquaria. They are of some value as food; in Japan they are used in tempura or sliced into sashimi. This fish likes humidity and lives in about a 70–85F.

The dwarf variety can be as small as 7mm (for a weight of 1g).


Some goby species live in symbiosis with a shrimp. The shrimp digs and cleans up a burrow in the sand in which both the shrimp and the goby fish live. The shrimp is almost blind leaving it vulnerable to predators when above ground. In case of danger the goby fish touches the shrimp with its tail to warn it of imminent danger. When that happens both the shrimp and goby fish quickly retract into the burrow.

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Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13