Mangrove Flathead Goby, Glossogobius circumspectus (Macleay 1883)

Other Names: Circumspect Goby

A Mangrove Flathead Goby, Glossogobius circumspectus, from Kampuan mangrove forest, Ranong, Amphoe Suksamran, Thailand. Source: Sahat Ratmuangkhwang / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A large goby with 5-6 irregular brown stripes and staggered rows of spots on the body, 5 variably distinct large dark blotches on the midside, plain anal and pelvic fins plain, and irregular bands of dark lines and spots on the caudal fin. The Mangrove Flathead Goby has no blackish spots along the back.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2016, Glossogobius circumspectus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Mangrove Flathead Goby, Glossogobius circumspectus (Macleay 1883)

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Distributed in northern Australia from Onslo, Western Australia, to the Burnett River, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical western Pacific. Inhabits muddy and mangrove areas in estuaries and inshore coastal waters.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 9; Anal fin I, 8; Pectoral fin 18-20; Transverse scales 8-10; Gill rakers 14-17.
Body elongate, compressed, height 6 in length. Head 2.8-3.1 in SL; profile usually straight. Snout long and pointed, longer than eye, tip before mid-eye. Eye 12.5-20 in SL, interorbital narrow, less than eye diameter. Mouth relatively large, slightly oblique, lower jaw prominent, maxillary reaching to below pupil; outer row of teeth in upper jaw conical, slightly enlarged, followed by 3-4 rows of smaller, depressible teeth; teeth in outer row on lower jaw smaller than in upper, followed by 3-4 rows of smaller, depressible teeth; tongue bilobed; 2 longitudinal and many transverse papillae rows on cheek (in adults); mandibular frenum low and covered with papillae. Lower end of gill-opening behind lower tip of cleithrum; gill-membrane attached to isthmus.
Scales ctenoid on body, cycloid on breast, pectoral fin base and small patch dorsally on opercle; cheek naked; predorsal scaled up to behind eyes; predorsal scales 16-19; lateral line absent; longitudinal series 27-33.
Two dorsal fins, first tall, triangular, about as high as body, second spine longest; second dorsal and anal fin lower than body. Caudal fin oblong, about as long as head, rounded. Ventral fins fully united into disc. Pectoral and ventral fin a little shorter than head.


No blackish spots on back; body with 5-6 irregular brown stripes and staggered rows of spots, 5 variably distinct large dark blotches on lateral midline. Anal and pelvic fins plain. Caudal fin irregularly banded with dark lines and spots.

Species Citation

Gobius circumspectus Macleay 1883, Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. (1)8(2): 267. Type locality: Milne Bay, New Guinea.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2016


Australian Faunal Directory

Mangrove Flathead Goby, Glossogobius circumspectus (Macleay 1883)


Akihito, P. & Meguro, K. 1975. Description of a new gobiid fish, Glossogobius aureus, with notes on related species of the genus. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 22(3): 127-142 figs 1-3 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

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

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 247-266.

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398 

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.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Macleay, W.J. 1883. Contribution to the knowledge of the fishes of New Guinea. No. 4. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 8(2): 252-280

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428027

Habitat:Freshwater, estuarine, coastal marine

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