Round Goby
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • Close-up dorsal fin: Notice the prominent blotch at the posterior of the 1st dorsal fin.
  • Close-up head: Notice the absence of elongated anterior nostrils extending over the upper lip.
  • Alternate head-on view: Notice the absence of elongated anterior nostrils extending over the upper lip.
  • Close-up pelvic fin: Notice that the pelvic fins are fused to form a disk.
  • Bottom view: Alternate view of the fused pelvic fins forming a disk.
  • Close-up flank: Notice the scales on the flank.
  • Alternate side view: Round goby (top), mottled sculpin (bottom); notice the scales and the pelvic fins.
  • Alternate bottom view: Round goby (top), mottled sculpin (bottom); notice the scales and the pelvic fins.
  • Alternate view of head region: Round goby (top), mottled sculpin (bottom); note the scales and the pelvic fins.
  • Alternate side view.
  • Alternate side view.
  • Alternate view of pelvic fins: Round goby (top), mottled sculpin (bottom); notice the scales and the pelvic fins.
  • Alternate view of pelvic fins.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Gobies (Gobiidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Terminal to slightly subterminal, wide and horizontal. Presence of jaw teeth uncertain. No barbels. Snout rounded to blunt. Body patterning, color, and scales: Mottled with irregular blotches, black, brown, or gray (sometimes faint) on a lighter brown, olive, or gray background with a cream or whitish belly. No lateral line; 45-57 scales along midline. Fins pigmented with gray or brown speckles, mottling, or solid colors; edges sometimes whitish on ventral margins of fins. Dark black pigment spot (usually with whitish halo), larger than eye, on posterior portion of first dorsal fin. Body shape and size: Body dorsal-ventrally flattened on ventral surface, especially anteriorly, but front and top of head and dorsal surface more rounded. Typically 75-125 mm (3-5 in) TL; maximum from Wisconsin about 175 mm (7 in), elsewhere up to 250 mm (10 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Rounded or square tail. Two dorsal fins, touching slightly, the anterior with 5-7 flexible spines and the posterior with 1 spine and 13-16 rays. Pelvic fins fused to form disk. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 1 flexible spine and 11-14 rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The round goby differs in having a large dark blotch on the posterior portion of the first dorsal fin, no elongated anterior nostrils extending over the upper lip, and about 12 gill rakers on the first gill arch, pelvic fins being fused together to form a disk, and in having scales. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males become a charcoal black with swollen cheeks when actively defending a nest.
Juveniles
Similar to adults.
Hybrids
Non reported.
Compare Similar Species
Blotch on Posterior Portion of the 1st Dorsal Fin
Goby, Roundpresent
Goby, Tubenoseabsent
Elongated Anterior Nostrils Extending Over the Upper Lip
Goby, Roundabsent
Goby, Tubenosepresent
Number of Gill Rakers on the 1st Gill Arch
Goby, Round12
Goby, Tubenose4
Similarity Index
Goby, RoundN/A
Goby, TubenoseVery similar
Comments
Goby, RoundModerately similar to sculpins, but distinguishable by its pelvic fins being fused together to form a disk and in having scales; in sculpins the two pelvic fins are free and independent from each other and no scales are present.
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