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Tropical Diver presented by Southwest

Neon goby

Neon goby

(Gobiosoma oceanops)

The neon goby is found throughout the western central Atlantic from southern Florida and the coast of Texas and Louisiana, to the northern Yucatan peninsula and Belize. Its preferred habitat is coral reefs and rocky substrates at depths of 3 to 168 feet.

Although its coloration can vary depending on the region from which it originated, the neon goby is usually darker in color dorsally and paler underneath. It has a neon blue stripe that runs laterally from its eyes to the base of the tail. This fish measures between 1 to 1.5 inches in length.

Look for the neon gobies in one of several exhibits in the Tropical Diver gallery.

Fun Facts

  • The neon goby is considered a cleaner fish that removes parasites from the skin of other fish.
  • Several will gather at a “cleaning station” on a reef and client fish will swim up for servicing.
  • The male neon goby will clear an area underneath a rock or shell as a nest for the female to lay her eggs. Both male and female guard the eggs until they hatch.
  • The pelvic fins are joined to form a cup-like suction disk that helps it cling to surfaces on the reef.
  • The neon goby is the only cleaning goby found in Florida.
  • Download full fact sheet

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