Patchwork Goby, Gobiopsis arenaria (Snyder 1908)

Other Names: Patchwork Barbelgoby

A Patchwork Goby, Gobiopsis arenaria, on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, November 2018. Source: Glen Whisson / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A very small pale grey goby with a mottled brown head, a broad saddle over the nape area, three brown saddles along the base of the dorsal fins joined at midbody to form a continuous midlateral stripe, and 5-6 narrow brown bars on the lower side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Gobiopsis arenaria in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Patchwork Goby, Gobiopsis arenaria (Snyder 1908)

More Info


Point Quobba to Yawajaba Island, Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west Pacific (Brunei and Japan to Hong Kong).
Inhabits sand/rubble areas adjacent to reefs.


Dorsal fin V-VI + I, 9-11; anal fin I, 9; Longitudinal scale series 33-36. 
Body depth 5.7 in SL; pelvic fins fully united, frenum present; pelvic fins relatively short, about 54% distance from origin of pelvic fin to origin of anal fin; caudal fin rounded; presence of barbels on snout, tip of chin, and ventrally below lower jaw. Sensory pores present on head, pores absent from preoperculum.
Scales cycloid, nape scales deeply embedded; scales absent from cheek and opercle.


The specific name is from the Latin arenarius (= sandy) in reference to its habitat in sandy pools. 

Species Citation

Hetereleotris arenarius Snyder 1908, Proceedings of the United States National Museum 35(1635): 100. Type locality: Naha, Okinawa, Japan. 


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Patchwork Goby, Gobiopsis arenaria (Snyder 1908)


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

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

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. 1978. A revision of the Indo-Pacific fish genus Gobiopsis with descriptions of four new species (Pisces : Gobiidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 262: 1-52 figs 1-7 pls 1-11, open access 

Snyder, J.O. 1908. Descriptions of eighteen new species and two new genera of fishes from Japan and the Riu Kiu Islands. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 35(1635): 93-111, open access

Snyder, J.O. 1912. The fishes of Okinawa, one of the Riu Kiu Islands. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 42: 487–519 pls 62–70, open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428317

Depth:5-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:2 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map