Bearded Flathead Goby, Glossogobius bicirrhosus (Weber 1894)

Other Names: Bearded Goby

A male Bearded Flathead Goby, Glossogobius bicirrhosus, from Babeldaob Island, Palau. Source: Rick Winterbottom / FishWise Professional. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small yellowish-brown goby with four faint bands along the back, a row of 5 dark blotches along the side between the bands, a darkish cheek, oblique lines of dark spots on the dorsal fin and vertical brown bands on the caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017, Glossogobius bicirrhosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024,

Bearded Flathead Goby, Glossogobius bicirrhosus (Weber 1894)

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North Queensland from Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria to Rollingstone. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical west Pacific. Usually inhabits freshwater rivers and streams just above tidal influence, and may also enter tidal creeks and river mouths. Occurs on sandy, silty, muddy and gravel bottoms.


Dorsal fin VI + I. 9; Anal fin I. 8; Petoral fin 18-19; Transverse scales 9.
Body elongate, compressed, height 6 in length. Head and snout flattened, profile a little convex; head length 3.5-3.75 in SL. Pair of short barbels on chin. Snout blunt, about as long as eye, tip before lower half of eye. Eye 3.75-4 in head, interorbital less than 0.5 eye diameter. Mouth slightly oblique, lower jaw prominent, maxillary reaching to or not quite to below front of eye; outer row of teeth in upper jaw large, stout, followed by 3 rows of minute, depressible teeth; teeth in outer row on lower jaw smaller than in upper, followed by 2 rows of minute depressible teeth, no canines; tongue deeply emarginate. 5-6 longitudinal and two oblique mucous canals on cheek.
Scales ctenoid on body, cycloid on breast; head above and behind eyes and elsewhere naked; pre-dorsal scales 13-15; lateral line absent; longitudinal series 30-32.
Two dorsal fins, first about as high as body, second ray longest; second dorsal and anal fin lower than body. Caudal fin oblong, about as long as head, rounded. Pelvic fins fully united into disc. Pectoral and pelvic fin a little shorter than head.


Yellowish brown with 4 faint bands on back, first before first dorsal fin and last just behind second dorsal; horizontal row of 5 dark blotches on side, each blotch corresponding with space between bands on back. Cheek somewhat dark. Dorsal fin with oblique lines of dark dots. Caudal fin with vertical brown bands.

Species Citation

Gobius bicirrhosus Weber 1894, Zoologische Ergebnisse einer Reise in niederländisch Ost-Indien 3: 412. Type locality: Maros River, Celebes.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Bearded Flathead Goby, Glossogobius bicirrhosus (Weber 1894)


Allen, G.R. 1991. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Publication No. 9. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea, 268 pp.

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. 

Hoese, D.F., Hadiaty, R.K. & Herder, F. 2015. Review of the dwarf Glossogobius lacking head pores from the Malili lakes, Sulawesi, with a discussion of the definition of the genus. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 14-26: 63 

Hoese, D.F. & Allen, G.R. 2009. Description of three new species of Glossogobius from Australia and New Guinea. Zootaxa 1981: 1–14 

Koumans, F.P. 1935. Notes on gobioid fishes 6. On the synonymy of some species from the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 18: 121-150 figs 1-15

Larson, H. 2012. Glossogobius bicirrhosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T196327A2446026. Downloaded on 09 April 2017. 

Masuda, H., Amaoka, K., Araga, C., Uyeno, T. & Yoshino, T. (eds) 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokyo : Tokai University Press Vol. 1–2 437 pp. 247 figs 370 pls.

Weber, M. 1894. Die Süsswasser-Fische des Indischen Archipels, nebst Bemerkungen über den Ursprung der Fauna von Celebes. pp. 405–476 in, Zoologische Ergebnisse einer Reise in niederländisch Ost-Indien. Leiden : Brill Vol. 3.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428149

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Habitat:Freshwater, estuarine, marine larvae

Max Size:5.5 cm SL

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