Sufflogobius bibarbatus

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Bearded Goby
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Gobiidae
Subfamily: Gobiinae
Genus: Sufflogobius
J. L. B. Smith, 1956
Species: S. bibarbatus
Binomial name
Sufflogobius bibarbatus
(von Bonde, 1923)
  • Gobius bibarbatus von Bonde, 1923
  • Nematogobius bibarbatus (von Bonde, 1923)

Sufflogobius bibarbatus, the Bearded Goby or Pelagic Goby, is a species of goby native to the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. It is currently the only known member of its genus.[1]


It reaches a maximum length of 17 centimeters (6.7 in). It has 7 dorsal spines and 12-13 dorsal soft rays. It has a single anal spine and 12-13 anal soft rays. Its fins are dusky to black in color.[1]

Range and habitat[edit]

This goby is demersal, inhabiting depths of 0–340 metres (0–1,115 ft) in subtropical waters ranging from 11–15 °C (52–59 °F) in the coastal waters of Namibia and South Africa.[1]

The bearded goby is usually found offshore but was also recorded in shore pools. Juveniles are epipelagic, while adults migrate to deeper waters, and large adults are only recorded from demersal trawls.[1]

The gobies can stay on the ocean floor for at least 10 to 12 hours at a time in an area of de-oxygenated "toxic sludge" rich in hydrogen sulfide H
where hardly anything lives except bacteria and nematodes. When settled on the bottom, they remain alert, showing rapid escape responses. They use the toxic mud as a refuge. Their population is growing despite the fact that they are now the main prey species in this unusual ecosystem.[2]


In 2010 was observed to feed on a species of jellyfish which was understood to be its main predator.[2][3] Jellies provide up to 1/3 of the fish's diet. It hides from mackerel amongst the jellies' stinger-covered tentacles when it rises from the seafloor for nighttime feeding.[4]


Fishes, penguins, Cape cormorants, crested terns and fur seals and jellies eat this fish.[1]

This goby hides from predators within jelly tentacles when it rises to feed and reoxygenate its blood.

Although targeted by purse seines, it may also be caught incidentally in trawls.


  1. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Sufflogobius bibarbatus" in FishBase. June 2013 version.
  2. ^ a b "'Prey Fish Turns Predator'". 
  3. ^ Utne-Palm, A. C.; Salvanes, A. G. V.; Currie, B.; Kaartvedt, S.; Nilsson, G. E.; Braithwaite, V. A.; Stecyk, J. A. W.; Hundt, M.; Van Der Bank, M.; Flynn, B.; Sandvik, G. K.; Klevjer, T. A.; Sweetman, A. K.; Brüchert, V.; Pittman, K.; Peard, K. R.; Lunde, I. G.; Strandabø, R. A. U.; Gibbons, M. J. (2010). "Trophic Structure and Community Stability in an Overfished Ecosystem". Science. 329 (5989): 333–336. doi:10.1126/science.1190708. PMID 20647468. 
  4. ^ Biello, David (July 15, 2010). "Scourge of the Jellies: Small Fish Shows How Ecosystems Adjust to Potentially Catastrophic Changes". Retrieved December 2010.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

Miller, P.J. 1990