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Amblyeleotris latifasciata, Spottail Shrimp Goby. Scott W. Michael

Family: Gobiidae

Species in Genus Amblyeleotris:

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM


The genus Amblyeleotris contains at least 25 species, a number of which show up in aquarium stores labeled as “banded watchman gobies.” These gobies are great reef tank residents and easy to keep.

Their relatively small sizes and less active lifestyles mean you can keep them in aquariums as small as 10 gallons (38 L). One prerequisite is a cover for the tank, to prevent outbound leaping.

They and their shrimp partners do best in a tank with a deep sand substrate. Because these shrimp burrow, be sure your rockwork rests firmly on the bottom panel of the aquarium with the sand substrate filling in around the rock; if rock is placed on top of the substrate, burrowing shrimp can cause catastrophic collapses of the aquascape. To facilitate burrow construction, mix some pieces of coral rubble, small pieces of live rock, and/or medium-sized shells with the sand.

Both the gobies and their shrimp associates will feed on a wide variety of fresh, frozen, and flake foods.