Cryptic Bearded Goby, Barbuligobius boehlkei Lachner & McKinney 1974

Other Names: Bearded Goby

A Cryptic Bearded Goby, Barbuligobius boehlkei, at Fremantle, Western Australia, February 2019. Source: Glen Whisson / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A small pale tan goby six brown saddles along the back, a row of five horizontally elongate black spots along the midside, a row of smaller dark spots along the lower side, and many elongate, fleshy barbels and flaps on the head.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Barbuligobius boehlkei in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Cryptic Bearded Goby, Barbuligobius boehlkei Lachner & McKinney 1974

More Info


Gulf St Vincent, South Australia, to the Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia, and McCluer Island, Northern Territory, to the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits sand-rubble areas, often in surge channels or on the exposed outer edge of reefs, burrowing into sand adjacent to the reef.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 8-9; Anal fin 8-9; longitudinal scale series 23-25. 
Body depth 5.6-6.3 in SL; numerous, elongate, fleshy barbels and flaps on head;  pelvic fins relatively long, united, extending beyond anal fin; caudal fin rounded. Scales absent from nape, cheek, opercle, breast and anterior body.


Light tan with row of five horizontally elongate black spots along middle of side; presence of row of smaller dark spots along lower side of body; nape, back and upper caudal peduncle with six brown saddles.


Barbuligobius boehlkei may comprise more than one species in Australia.


The species is named in honour of James E. Böhlke of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, who collected some of the specimens.

Species Citation

Barbuligobius boehlkei Lachner  & McKinney 1974, Copeia 1974(4): 871, figs 1-4. Type locality: Southwestern shore off Ch'uan-fan-shih, Taiwan, 21°55.8'N, 120°48.8'E, depth 4.6-6.4 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Cryptic Bearded Goby, Barbuligobius boehlkei Lachner & McKinney 1974


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Hoese, D.F. 1986. Family No. 240: Gobiidae. pp. 774-807 figs in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Lachner, E.A. & McKinney, J.F. 1974. Barbuligobius boehlkei, a new Indo-Pacific genus and species of Gobiidae (Pisces), with notes on the genera Callogobius and Pipidonia. Copeia 1974(4): 869-879 figs 1-4

Larson, H.K. 2011. The marine temperate gobioids of southern Australia and the New Zealand region. Chapter 2.4, pp. 235-241 in Patzner, R.A., Van Tassell, J.L., Kovačić, M. & Kapoor, B.G. (eds) The Biology of Gobies. Enfield, New Hampshire : Science Publishers 685 pp. 

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.

Larson, H.K. & Van Tassell, J. 2010. Barbuligobius boehlkei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154846A4649431. Downloaded on 08 February 2019.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428062

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated,sand areas

Max Size:2 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map