Mulgrave Goby, Glossogobius bellendensis Hoese & Allen 2009

Paratype of the Mulgrave Goby, Glossogobius bellendensis, from the Mulgrave River, Queensland. Source: Douglass F. Hoese / Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. 2015, Glossogobius bellendensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Jul 2024,

Mulgrave Goby, Glossogobius bellendensis Hoese & Allen 2009

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Occurs in the Russell, Mulgrave and Mossman rivers and creeks near Cairns in north-eastern Queensland from above tidal influence to altitudes of a few hundred metres. Inhabits coarse sandy areas and medium to large sized rocks-marine in estuaries and freshwater, clear, flowing streams, in open or in forested areas.


Dorsal fin V-VI + I, 9-11; Anal fin I, 7-8; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 16-17, (branched rays) 13-14; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Vertebrae 11-12 + 16-17 = 27-28; Transverse scales 8.5-9.5.
Body elongate, compressed. Head depressed, length 27.2-30.6% SL. Snout short, broadly rounded in dorsal view; dorsal profile straight to convex. Eye about 1–1.2 in snout, 7.2–8.6% SL. Interorbital narrow, less than eye length. Small bump below anterior nostril. Mental fraenum bilobed, with lateral lobes broad and attached to chin, with a posteromedian attachment sometimes giving the appearance of a third lobe. Anterior nostril at end of short tube, just above upper lip; posterior nostril varying from midway between eye and upper lip to closer to eye than upper lip. Rear margin of preopercle without spine. Mouth small, reaching to below anterior quarter of eye; jaw teeth in 3-4 rows, outer row slightly enlarged and wide-set, conical, teeth of inner rows smaller, depressible, inwardly directed; tongue tip with shallow notch, distinctly bilobed.  Gill opening to below or just behind rear margin of preopercle. Cheek papilla lines composed of single row of papillae.
Body covered mostly with large ctenoid scales, cycloid anterior to line from second dorsal origin to upper pectoral origin and on belly; lateral line absent; predorsal partly scaled, often with scales at side extending farther forward than scales on midline, sides scaled forward to above middle of operculum to just behind eye, midline naked or with scales forward to just before preopercular margin, midline sometimes with some small scales forward to above posterior end of operculum and area immediately adjacent to midline naked, but partly scaled along sides of nape; predorsal scales 2-14; cheek, operculum, pectoral fin base, prepelvic area and belly behind pelvic insertion naked. 
Two dorsal fins; first dorsal low, with rounded margin, origin well behind pelvic insertion; second dorsal subequal in height to first dorsal. Anal fin slightly lower than dorsal fins. Pectoral fin with rounded margin, reaching to above anal fin origin or slightly beyond. Pelvic fins united into moderately thick disc, slightly longer than wide, reaching to below anus; fifth ray with 6–9 terminal tips.


Body dark brown above lateral midline, pale brown below, with irregular dark brown spot or bar above pectoral base; oblique brown bar or spot on belly below front of first dorsal fin ventrally from midside; irregular brown spot below rear of first dorsal fin, extending a short distance dorsally from midside; series of 6 elongate spots posterior to first dorsal fin on midside, each covering 2–3 horizontally aligned scales in horizontal row, sixth at posterior end of caudal peduncle becoming short vertical bar on caudal fin base; series of V-shaped saddles immediately below dorsal fin, each arranged above space between spots on lateral midside. Head with small scattered dark brown spots; broad stripe from anteroventral margin of eye to above middle of upper lip; short stripe from posteroventral margin of eye onto cheek, often with dark brown spot posteroventrally; chin and isthmus dark brown, rest of ventral surface paler; lips dark brown with white at posterior tip. Pectoral fin base and base of pectoral rays with short brown bar or small spot. First dorsal fin with scattered black spots in 2–3 oblique rows, posterior end of fin with larger black spot or two spots from sixth spine to end of fin; second dorsal fin with black spots in 2 rows ventrally, distal margin dark brown. Anal fin whitish basally, distal quarter to third dark brown. Central rays of caudal fin covered with brown spots forming about 4-6 wavy bands on dorsal two-thirds of fin, ventral and dorsal thirds of fin grey to pale brown. Pectoral fins uniformly brown. Pelvic fins grey to dark brown.


Feeds mainly on aquatic insect larvae and some terrestrial invertebrates.


Likely to be an oviparous, benthic spawner that breeds during the dry season and attaches adhesive eggs to the underside of stones in nests.


The species is named for the Bellenden Ker Range, where the species was first discovered.

Species Citation

Glossogobius bellendenensis Hoese & Allen 2009, Zootaxa 1981: 7, figs 5–8a. Type locality: Eubenagee Swamp, near Innisfail, 17°24'S, 145°58'E.


Gomon, M.F. 2015

Mulgrave Goby, Glossogobius bellendensis Hoese & Allen 2009


Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. (2002). Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia.  Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. (as Glossogobius species 4)

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

Pusey B., Kennard M. & Arthington A. (2004). Freshwater Fishes of North-Eastern Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood Australia. 684 pp. (as Glossogobius species 4)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428316

Habitat:Coastal freshwater streams

Max Size:4.3 cm SL


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