<i>Caragobius rubristriatus </i> Click to enlarge image
An 8 cm to 8.5 cm long Red Eel Goby accidentally caught on hook and line by A. Meredith next to the muddy bank at a depth of less than 1m, about 4km down river from the Blyth River and Caddell River junction, Northern Territory, July 2005. Image: T. Robb
© Arnhemland Barramundi Nature Lodge

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    rubristriatus
    Genus
    Caragobius
    Family
    Gobiidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Red Eel Goby grows to at least 10 cm in length.

Introduction

The Red Eel Goby is a slender, elongate fish that is bright pink in life. It is usually found in muddy areas, often estuaries.

Identification

The Red Eel Goby is a very elongate species with long based dorsal and anal fins. It has a large oblique mouth and rudimentary eyes.

The live colouration of this species is vivid pink. Saville-Kent’s (1889) original description of the species stated that the fish was rosy pink in life with a carmine longitudinal stripe and smaller carmine streaks branching from the longitudinal stripe that delineated the outlines of the myotomes. Its fins were yellowish.

Fish in the genus Caragobius can be separated from other gobies by several osteological characters. Other useful features that can be used to distinguish Caragobius are the rounded pectoral and pelvic fins, the dorsoventral symmetry, rudimentary eyes, slightly depressed head, and lack of opercular pouches and fang-like teeth.


Caragobius rubristriatus
An 81.4 mm long (SL) female Red Eel Goby from the Australian Museum Fish Collection (AMS I.21221-001). This fish was caught by NT Fisheries in King Creek, Northern Territory, January 1978. Image: S.J. Raredon
© USNM

Habitat

It is a bottom-dwelling species that is found in muddy estuarine areas often around mangroves.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia, occurring from north-western Western Australia to the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Murdy, E.O. & K. Shibukawa. 2003. A revision of the Indo-Pacific fish genus Caragobius (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae). Zootaxa. 301: 1-12.