Fish FAQ - What is the second smallest species of fish?

In July 2004, the Dwarf Goby was usurped as the smallest fish by the Stout Floater.

A Dwarf Goby from Ulong Pass, Palau

A Dwarf Goby from Ulong Pass, Palau
Photographer: Rick Winterbottom (ROM) © Rick Winterbottom (ROM)

Prior to the great 'What is the smallest fish' debate, the second smallest species of fish was considered to be the Dwarf Goby, Trimmatom nanus. This species grows to 1 cm in length. Its printed name is longer than the adult fish.

It occurs on coral reefs of the Indo-West Pacific.


  1. Hoese, D.F. in Paxton, J.R. & W.N. Eschmeyer (Eds). 1994. Encyclopedia of Fishes. Sydney: New South Wales University Press; San Diego: Academic Press [1995]. Pp. 240.

Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow
Last Updated:

Tags Ichthyology, Fishes, second smallest, Dwarf Goby, Trimmatom nanus, Gobiidae, orange, translucent, long and skinny, < 10 cm, stripes, coral reef, marine, big eyes, clear fins,