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common name for a member of the family Gobiidae, small marine fishes familiar in shallow waters, especially along southern shores. Gobies may be either scaled or scaleless; all species have the ventral fins modified into a sucking disk, as in the clingfish of the family Gobiesocidae. The naked goby (3 in./7.5 cm) is found S of Cape Cod and the sharptail goby (6 in./15 cm) in brackish bays along the Atlantic coast. The sleeper goby, or guavina, occasionally grows large enough to be used as food. The round goby, native to the Black, Caspian, and Azov seas, has become a common pest species in the Great Lakes. On the Pacific coast the longjaw goby or longjaw mudsucker, is a common bait fish. The most popular of many aquarium species is the bumblebee goby, native to S Asia. Gobies are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Gobiidae.



(Gobiidae), a family of fish of the order Perciformes. The structure of its ventral fins is characteristic: they usually grow together forming a sucking disk. There are approximately 600 species. It is distributed along the coastal seas in tropical and temperate latitudes, also in brackish and fresh waters.

In the USSR the greatest variety of gobies is found in the Black, Azov, and Caspian seas, where a number of commercial species are found, including Gobius melanostomus, G. fluviatilis, G. batrachocephalus, G. ophiocephalus, and others. Gobies were brought to the Aral Sea during the acclimatization of other fishes. Some species are distinguished by their small size: the Philippine goby (Mystichthys luzonensis) has a length of 10-14 mm, and the Caspian goby (Hyrcanogobius bergi), 21 mm. Gobies reproduce in spring and summer. The roe attaches to under-water objects and is often protected by the parents. The small Black Sea goby (Pomatoschistus) lays its roe in the empty shells of the Cardium mollusk. Most gobies feed on benthic invertebrates, but there are also predatory and planktonophagic species. The goby is used in fresh or canned form.


Berg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948-49.
Svetovidov, A. N. Ryby Chernogo moria. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.




(Perccottus glehni), a small freshwater fish of the family Eleotridae. Length, up to 20 cm. Color varies from light to dark; in mating its coloration turns nearly black, and irregular dark-reddish spots appear on the sides.

The goby is found in the basin of the middle and lower Amur River and in bodies of water in northwestern Sakhalin and northeastern Korea. It is also seen in ponds near Moscow and Leningrad, where it was brought by amateur aquarium keepers. The goby prefers still waters. It feeds on fry, mollusks, and insect larvae. Spawning occurs from May to July. The eggs are laid on thick plant stems and other objects; the male protects the eggs.


1. any small spiny-finned fish of the family Gobiidae, of coastal or brackish waters, having a large head, an elongated tapering body, and the ventral fins modified as a sucker
2. any other gobioid fish
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