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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Gobiidae
Broad-barred acropora goby
Gobiodon histrio
Family Gobiidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? Seen once at Sisters Islands.

Features: To about 4cm. This fish lives among the branches of acropora hard corals. A study showed that this fish almost never leaves its coral home and stays despite low oxygen levels in the water and even when the coral is exposed at low tide. To do so, the fish is able to breathe air! It has a large rounded head and the body patterns are believed to be variable. There is rarely more than two of these fishes in one colony of Acropora coral. They can change gender from male to female or female to male.

Members of the genus Gobiodon produce a bitter mucus.

Human uses: Unfortunately, these fishes are often harvested from the wild for the aquarium trade.

Sisters Islands, Dec 05

Kusu Island, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Kusu Island, May 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Tanah Merah, Jun 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Broad-barred acropora gobies on Singapore shores

Photos of Broad-barred acropora gobies for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Semakau East, Jul 15
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Pulau Semakau East, Jul 15
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Raffles Lighthouse, Nov 16
Photo shared by Heng Pei Yan on facebook..

  • Larson, Helen K and Kelvin K. P. Lim. 2005. A Guide to Gobies of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 164pp.
  • Coward or braveheart: extreme habitat fidelity through hypoxia tolerance in a coral-dwelling goby by Goran E. Nilsson, Jean-Paul Hobbs, Philip L. Munday and Sara Ostlund-Nilsson First published online November 24, 2003 Journal of Experimental Biology 207, 33-39 (2004)
  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
  • Lieske, Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral Reef Fishes of the World Periplus Editions. 400pp.
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