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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Gobiidae
Crocodile flathead goby
Psammogobius biocellatus*
Family Gobiidae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? These rather large gobies with flattened heads are sometimes seen on some of our shores on sandy areas near seagrass meadows, or sandy lagoon bottoms. One was seen snatching another goby! Elsewhere, it is found in intertidal areas, estuaries, lagoons, coastal rivers and common in mangroves.

Features: Up to 12cm, those seen about 6-8cm long. The head is big but not as flat as in true flatheads, and rather triangular at the snout. Mouth is large; with the lower jaw slightly longer than the upper jaw. Eyes near the top of the head, large and placed close to one another. Some have a pale bar 'joining' the eyes. Each eye with a single 'eyelid'. Another of its common names is 'Sleepy goby' perhaps referring to its lidded eyes. The long body is cylindrical and tapers towards the tail. Various colours and patterns. Most have colours matching the surroundings, with alternating dark and light bars on the body.

Sometimes mistaken for true flatheads (Family Platycephalidae). Here's more on how to tell apart fishes with flat heads.

Changi, Jun 10

This one caught another goby!
Sentosa, Jun 07

Changi, Jun 10

Lower jaw longer than upper.
Single tiny 'eyelid'.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Crocodile flathead gobies on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Chek Jawa, Oct 08
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on flickr.

East Coast Park, Aug 20
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.

Tanah Merah, May 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Hantu, Mar 22
Photo shared by James Koh on facebook.



  • Larson, Helen K and Kelvin K. P. Lim. 2005. A Guide to Gobies of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 164pp.
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