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Gobies: Gobioidei

Behavior And Reproduction

Some open-water species of gobies form schools. Many gobies are territorial, especially during the breeding season. Males often care for developing eggs. Females lay a few to several hundred small eggs, attaching them to the underside of rocks or onto plants or coral. The eggs usually hatch in a few days, and the young are dispersed by water currents. In freshwater species, the larvae (LAR-vee), or young, are swept downstream by the water current. The young spend a few weeks to months at sea before returning to freshwater.


The small size of gobies places them at risk from many predators. For example, gobies hiding under sea urchins are eaten by long-snouted predators that probe between the spines of the urchin, and shrimp can overpower small gobies.


The stout infantfish, a goby 8.4 millimeters long and weighing 1 milligram, in July 2004 replaced the dwarf goby as the world's smallest fish and world's smallest vertebrate. Both fishes are smaller than a raisin but larger than a ladybug.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesGobies: Gobioidei - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Fire Goby (nemateleotris Magnifica): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, GOBIES AND PEOPLE