Neovespicula depressifrons

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Neovespicula depressifrons
Vespicula depressifrons (Wroclaw zoo).JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Tetrarogidae
Genus: Neovespicula
Mandritsa, 2001
Species: N. depressifrons
Binomial name
Neovespicula depressifrons
(J. Richardson, 1848)

Neovespicula depressifrons (leaf goblinfish) is a species of waspfish found in coastal habitats of the Indo-West Pacific region.[1]


N. depressifrons is the sole member of the genus Neovespicula.[2] Synonyms include Apistes depressifrons and Vespicula depressifrons.[3]

Despite being traded as an aquarium fish under a variety of (somewhat misleading) common names, including dusky panther goby and butterfly goby,[4] this fish is not a goby;[1] it is in fact a member of the waspfish family Tetrarogidae within the suborder Scorpaenoidei.[1]


N. depressifrons is a small species, reaching a maximum size of 10 cm.[1] It is similar to the bullrout in shape and colouration - mottled brown with a distinctive light stripe running along the dorsal surface from the nose and along the back of the fish.[4] It has two dorsal fins, the first being notably taller than the second.[4]


The leaf goblinfish has been reported from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.[1]


Like other waspfish, N. depressifrons is a stealthy predator that feeds on various small fish and invertebrates.[5] Also in common with other waspfish, it is equipped with venomous spines.[5] N. depressifrons is a euryhaline species, so may be found in saltwater, brackish water, and freshwater environments.[1]

Commercial importance[edit]

It is of no commercial importance, but occasionally gets traded as an aquarium fish.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Neovespicula depressifrons" in FishBase. December 2007 version.
  2. ^ "Catalog of Fishes". California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  3. ^ "Synonyms of Neovespicula depressifrons (Richardson, 1848)". Fishbase. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  4. ^ a b c "Butterfly-goby Waspfish". Neale Monks. Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  5. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). "Tetrarogidae" in FishBase. Aug 2007 version.