Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature


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Gobiodon okinawae, Yellow Clown Goby. Scott W. Michael

Family: Gobiidae

Species in Genus Gobiodon:

Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.
Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM


These beguiling, diminutive fishes usually nestle within branching small-polyped stony corals. They feed on tiny crustaceans, protozoa, coral mucus, and tissue. They may nip at stony corals, but they do not cause irreparable damage, and their movements among the coral branches may help circulate fresh seawater in stagnant portions of the colony.

Although rarely aggressive toward unrelated fishes, they may fight with their own kind and congeners. If there is enough habitat, they will disperse or form male-female pairs. If suitable hiding places are available, they are usually ignored by aggressive tankmates. Predatory fishes may feed on them, although they are reported to exude a noxious slime.

They are often the first fishes to get ich (Cryptocaryon), which shows up as white pimples on the body and fins.

Feed them Cyclop-eeze, finely shaved table shrimp, and frozen food for carnivores once a day. These species will spawn in captivity, laying their demersal eggs among coral branches. The eggs are then guarded by the male.

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