Fish Database - Species Details

Semiscaled goby

Elacatinus pallens

Semiscaled goby





Reported from many areas in the Caribbean but is underreported due to their small size, cryptic coloration and absence from reef areas.


On Bari Reef (Bonaire) the semiscaled goby lives on limestone rocks covered with algal mats in 2-4m of depth, sometimes together with secretary blennies. I found them mostly/only on the side of the rock facing the sandy floor that sloped toward the ocean. Fishbase reports the habitat as "shallow rock or coral bottoms, also limestone canyons covered with algal mats."


I always saw them out in the open on the top or vertical face of a rock, often in a shallow depression. If scared they can hide completely in holes but I did not see them protrude from holes like the tube blennies do. Fishbase reports "Found hiding in recesses at the bases of coral heads as well as burrows of the chiton Choneplax lata."

Food Preference

No data? Probably eats small organisms living in the algal mats.

Spawning Behaviour

No data? Pairs of fish have been found in a single burrow. For other gobies these have often be found to be mating pairs.



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