Gobius paganellus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Rock Goby

Gobius paganellus

Description: The rock goby is a moderately large goby with adults reaching up to 12cm in length. It is pale brown in colour with purple-brown to black mottling. There is always a pale yellow band running along the top edge of the first dorsal fin. This band is a conspicuous orange colour in adult males. The nostrils are surrounded by 5-6 small, finger-like branches.

Habitat: This species is confined to rocky areas which might explain its apparent absence from the east coast of Britain where there is a lack of rocky seabeds. It is often found on the low shore beneath rocks and stones and also in seaweed covered rockpools. Sublittorally it occurs down to a depth of approximately 15m. It feeds on a wide variety of organisms, especially small crustaceans, small fish and pieces of seaweed.

Distribution: The rock goby occurs on southern and western coasts of Britain and all around the Irish coast.

Similar Species: The giant goby (Gobius cobitis) is found in similar habitats but is much larger (up to 27cm) and is restricted in its distribution to the western side of the English Channel. The black goby (Gobius niger) is sometimes confused with this species but is usually confined to muddy or sandy areas and has a much more elongate first dorsal fin.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Gobius paganellus (Linnaeus, 1758). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland.
https://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZG7240 Accessed on 2024-06-24

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