Beautiful-cheek Shrimpgoby, Amblyeleotris callopareia Polunin & Lubbock 1979

A Beautiful-cheek Shrimpgoby, Amblyeleotris callopareia, at Fitzroy Island, near Cairns, Queensland, depth 17m on a silty bottom. Source: Sue Churchill & Rogan Draper. License: All rights reserved

A rare shrimpgoby with five vertical to oblique brown bands on the body, three vertical golden-yellow lines on the head behind the eye, bluish stripes on the dorsal fin, and blue speckles and dark upper and lower margins on the caudal fin.
Shrimpgobies live in association with alpheid shrimps. The shrimp excavates and maintains the burrow, while the goby watches out for predators.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Amblyeleotris callopareia in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Sep 2019,

Beautiful-cheek Shrimpgoby, Amblyeleotris callopareia Polunin & Lubbock 1979

More Info


An Australian endemic known from the northern Great Barrier Reef to Moreton Bay, Queensland.
Inhabits silty-sand and sandy-rubble areas and reef slopes, sharing burrows with alpheid shrimps.


Dorsal fin VI + 1,12 (last ray divided to base); Anal fin I,12-13 (last ray divided to base); Pectoral fin 19-20; Pelvic fin I, 5; Lateral scale rows 69-75 from dorsal angle of branchial opening to base of caudal fin, latter with an additional 3-4 rows basally; Transverse scale series 21-25, counted forwards and upwards from first anal spine to approximately below sixth dorsal spine; 19-23 scales in a zigzag series around narrowest part of caudal peduncle; Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch, including elongate raker at angle, 9-10.


In life, head and body pale beige with 5 faint vertical to oblique brown bands, and yellow stripes and spots; first band particularly faint, across part of predorsal area above dorsal angle of branchial opening; second band below fifth to sixth dorsal spines; third band below second to fifth dorsal soft rays; fourth band starting from below, and just posterior to, twelfth dorsal soft ray; fifth band on caudal fin base. Irregular scattered spots and patches of brown in between vertical bands. Three more or less vertical golden yellow stripes on head; first stripe from behind centre of hind margin of orbit to half-way down to posterior tip of jaw; second stripe on hind part of preoperculum; third stripe on operculum; a few scattered golden yellow spots above stripes on head; scattered very faint pale yellow spots on body. First dorsal fin very pale beige with very faint horizontal to oblique lines of pale blue and faint orange distal margin, latter most notable between tips of fourth and fifth spines; second dorsal fin similar to first dorsal fin, but with faint dark margin. Anal fin pale greenish beige with black distal margin lined on each side by pale iridescent blue. Pelvic fins pale blue. Pectoral fins hyaline. Caudal fin very pale beige with faint pale blue speckles; ventral margin coloured similarly to distal margin of   anal fin; dorsal margin dark, similar to distal margin of second dorsal fin; series of small blue spots posteriorly in upper half of fin, separated from margin by pale bluish band (Polunin & Lubbock 1979). 


The specific name callopareia is derived from Greek and means 'beautiful-cheeked' in reference to the distinctive colour on the side of the head.

Species Citation

Amblyeleotris callopareia Polunin & Lubbock, 1979, Bull. Brit. Mus. Zool. 36(4): 241, fig. 2. Type locality: at 26 m depth, coarse sand 50-100 m seaward of coral at bottom of reef slope, just east of South Island, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Beautiful-cheek Shrimpgoby, Amblyeleotris callopareia Polunin & Lubbock 1979


Acero, A., Jaafar, Z., Murdy, E. & Van Tassell, J. 2010. Amblyeleotris callopareia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154786A4633221. Downloaded on 24 February 2019.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Polunin, N.V.C. & Lubbock, R. 1979. Five new prawn-associated gobies (Teleostei : Gobiidae) of the genus Amblyeleotris. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 36(4): 239-249. See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428032

Behaviour:Shares burrows with alpheid shrimps

Conservation:IUCN Data Deficient

Depth:6-72 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand/rubble areas

Max Size:8 cm SL


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CAAB distribution map