Lythrypnus spilus

FamilyScientific NameAuthorYearCommon Name
GobiidaeLythrypnus spilusBöhlke and Robins1960Bluegold Goby

All Lythrypnus – 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 < seven spines. No pores in lateral line system on head. Body robust but short (maximum size usually < 23 mm SL). Lateral scale rows 25–28. Top of head, nape, chest, and pectoral-fin base naked.

Lythrypnus spilus

Unique Characters: Single dark spot on pectoral-fin base occupying nearly entire width of base. No spots on cheek. Body bands with fine dark lines down their centers. First two dorsal spines prolonged.

Similar Species:

Convict Goby
Lythrypnus phorellus

Dwarf Goby
Lythrypnus elasson

Convict Goby Lythrypnus phorellus. Two dark spots (one above other, ventral one larger) on pectoral-fin base. Spots on cheek usually in 3–4 rows. Dark bands on body divided by pale central stripes. Dorsal spines not prolonged.

Dwarf Goby Lythrypnus elasson. Body usually uniformly pigmented, lacking bands, bars, or stripes.

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