Ctenogobius smaragdus

FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
GobiidaeCtenogobius smaragdus(Valenciennes)1837Emerald Goby

All Ctenogobius – Pelvic fins completely united to form a round sucking disc. Dorsal fins separated. Body stout. No chevron markings on sides. Upper pectoral-fin rays broadly united. Tongue sometimes slightly indented but not notched. No lobes on shoulder girdle. Lateral scales, if present, usually < 57. Body mostly covered with scales. Dorsal fin with usually < 7 spines. Pores present in lateral line system on head. Lateral scale rows usually > 29. Body completely covered with scales. Dorsal fins close together. Opercle naked. Caudal fin pointed. Usually > 28 lateral scale rows. Body not usually transparent. No black spot above opercle.

Ctenogobius smaragdus

Unique Characters: Many green spots on head and sides. Dark distinct shoulder spot (pale in preservative). Predorsal area always with scales. Dorsal and anal-fin rays usually 11 and 12, respectively.

Similar Species:

Marked Goby Ctenogobius stigmaticus

Dash Goby Ctenogobius saepepallens

Marked Goby Ctenogobius stigmaticus. Three or five distinct reddish vertical bars on lower cheek. Small dark shoulder spot present. Narrow, vertical, yellow (pale in preservative) bars present on body. Dorsal and anal-fin rays usually 12 and 13, respectively. No suborbital bar.

Dash Goby Ctenogobius saepepallens. Five dash-like markings present along body midline. Triangular blotch on opercle. Dark bar below eye. Dorsal and anal-fin rays usually 12 and 13, respectively. Shoulder spot usually absent. No yellow body bars. Pectoral-fin rays usually 15 or 16. Predorsal area always naked. 29–34 scales in lateral series.

Freshwater Goby Ctenogobius shufeldti

Darter Goby Ctenogobius boleosoma

Ctenogobius shufeldti
Freshwater Goby – Ctenogobius shufeldti
Ctenogobius boleosoma
Darter Goby – Ctenogobius boleosoma

Freshwater Goby Ctenogobius shufeldti. Four to five large squarish blotches present along body midline. Dark stripe crossing cheek from upper jaw to opercle. Dorsal and anal-fin rays usually 12 and 13, respectively. Shoulder spot absent. No bars on lower cheek. Suborbital bar present or absent. No yellow body bars. Pectoral-fin rays 17 or 18. Predorsal area (just anterior to dorsal origin) usually with some scales. 31–40 scales in lateral series.

Darter Goby Ctenogobius boleosoma. Blackish oval blotch above pectoral fin base. Large black spot on caudal fin base. Blotches on side merge with V-shaped saddles under second dorsal fin. Predorsal area almost always naked (a few scales occasionally present). Dorsal and anal-fin rays usually 11 and 12, respectively.

Reference: Ross, S.W., and F.C. Rohde. 2004. The gobioid fishes of North Carolina (Pisces: Gobioidei). Bulletin of Marine Science 74:287-323.

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