Genus Eviota


A large group of tropical and subtropical gobies found on coral or rocky reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. All species are small and most females mature at lengths less than 15 mm SL. The genus contains more than 110 valid species, and more than 30 species occur in Australian waters. These tiny cryptic gobies are some of the most abundant fishes found on the Great Barrier Reef.

Species are distinguished from other gobiid genera by the following combination of characters (Lachner & Karnella, 1980): small adult size (females usually sexually mature at less than 15 mm SL); pelvic fins separate, a fine fragile membrane joining bases, fraenum absent; pelvic-fin rays I,4 or I,5, the fifth segmented ray (when present) a simple rudiment or an unbranched ray; fourth segmented pelvic fin ray multi-branched; trunk usually with dark subcutaneous spots or bars; first dorsal fin with 6 spines; scales ctenoid, fewer than 30 in lateral series, absent from head, nape and base of pectoral fin; and gill opening narrow (Gill & Jewett 2004). 

Greenfield & Winterbottom (2016) provide a key to species.

Author: Bray, D.J. 2021

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Eviota in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024,


Goatley, C.H.R. & Brandl, S.J. 2017. Cryptobenthic reef fishes. Current Biology 27(11): R452–R454

Greenfield, D.W. 2017. An overview of the dwarfgobies, the second most speciose coral-reef fish genus (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 29: 32-54

Greenfield, D.W. 2021. Addendum to the 2016 key to the dwarfgobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 38: 1-12.

Greenfield, D.W. & Winterbottom, R. 2016. A key to the dwarfgoby species (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota) described between 1871 and 2016. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 24: 35–90

Jewett, S.L. & Lachner, E.A. 1983. Seven new species of the Indo-Pacific genus Eviota (Pisces: Gobiidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 96(4): 780–806. See ref at BHL

Lachner, E.A. & Karnella, S.J. 1980. Fishes of the Indo-Pacific genus Eviota with descriptions of eight new species (Teleostei : Gobiidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 315: 1-127 figs 1-66

Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 2001. Eleotridae, Gobiidae. pp. 3574-3604 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds) The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Tornabene, L., G.N. Ahmadia, M.L. Berumen, D.J. Smith, J. Jompa & F. Pezold. 2012. Evolution of microhabitat association and morphology in a diverse group of cryptobenthic coral reef fishes (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66(1): 391-400.

Tornabene, L., Valdez, S., Erdmann, M. & Pezold, F. 2014. Support for a ‘Center of Origin’ in the Coral Triangle: cryptic diversity, recent speciation, and local endemism in a diverse lineage of reef fishes (Gobiidae: Eviota). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution