Rock goby

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Rock goby
Gobius paganellus.jpg
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Gobiidae
Subfamily: Gobiinae
Genus: Gobius
Species: G. paganellus
Binomial name
Gobius paganellus
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Bathygobius paganellus (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Gobius bicolor J. F. Gmelin, 1789
  • Gobius capito Valenciennes, 1837
  • Gobius punctipinnis Canestrini, 1862
  • Gobius capitonellus Kessler, 1874
  • Gobius albosignatus Kessler, 1874

Gobius paganellus, the rock goby, is a small coastal goby of eastern Atlantic waters, from Scotland to Senegal.[1] It is also reported from the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and is a Lessepsian migrant in the Gulf of Eilat and Red Sea. There are unconfirmed records from the area around Pointe Noire in the Congo Republic.[2]


The rock goby is usually black with white blotches - although the male is much more black when guarding the eggs. The neck area lacks scales and there is a pale band on the top of first dorsal fin. Both dorsal fins lack black spots on their leading edges. This species can reach a length of 12 centimetres (4.7 in) TL and has been known to live for ten years.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The rock goby is found in the temperate East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. Its range extends from western Scotland southwards to the Azores and Senegal, most of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. It sometimes migrates through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. It prefers rocky sea floors below the low tidemark, although it can be found in larger rock pools in Summer. It may also live in fresh or brackish water. It can be found at depths of from 0 to 15 metres (0 to 49 ft).[2]


The rock goby eats small crabs and amphipods, polychaetes, larvae and small fish. The juvenile diet includes Calanus, a copepod, and mites.[2]


The rock goby reproduces in spring. It nests in rocky areas near the kelp forest, Up to 7000 eggs are laid, in a single layer, under rocks and shells. The eggs (up to 7000) are laid in a single layer (2.5 mm in height) and guarded aggressively by the male. The eggs hatch in about 19 days.


  1. ^ Miller P.J. (1986) Gobiidae. In: Whitehead P.J.P., Bauchot M.-L., Hureau J.-C., Nielsen J., Tortonese E. (eds.) Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Vol. 3. UNESCO, Paris.
  2. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Gobius paganellus" in FishBase. June 2013 version.