Signal Goby, Cryptocentrus insignitus (Whitley 1956)

A Signal Goby, Cryptocentrus insignitus, at Cassini Island, Western Australia, length 5 cm SL. Source: Gerald R. Allen, Fig. 5C in Allen (2015) JOSF 16: License: CC by Attribution

A pale shrimpgoby with a prominent blue to black ocellus on the first dorsal fin, pale spots on the head and body and irregular mottled brownish bars along the side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Cryptocentrus insignitus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Feb 2023,

Signal Goby, Cryptocentrus insignitus (Whitley 1956)

More Info


Endemic to northern Australia from the Kimberley Region, Western Australia, to Gove Harbour, Northern Territory. Inhabits sandy and rubble areas on coastal reefs, sharing burrows with alpheid shrimps.


"The ocellus on the spinous dorsal suggests one of the bats with which servicemen signal approaching aircraft to land on a carrier's deck, hence the generic name, Batman. Possibly the fish signals to others of its kind by erecting the dorsal fin to show the ocellus which would be hidden when the fin is laid back: insignitus is Latin for "marked so as to be known," from insigne, a signal. For this fish I suggest the vernacular name Signal Goby." Whitley, 1956. 

Species Citation

Batman insignitus Whitley 1956, Proc. Roy. Soc New South Wales 1954–55: 36, fig. 2. Type locality: Darwin, NT. 


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Signal Goby, Cryptocentrus insignitus (Whitley 1956)


Allen, G.R. 2015. Descriptions of two new species of shrimpgobies (Gobiidae: Cryptocentrus and Tomiyamichthys) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 16: 67-81. PDF Open access

Allen, G.R. & Randall, J.E. 2011. Two new species of shrimp-associated gobies (Gobiidae: Cryptocentrus) from the western Pacific. Marine Biology Research 7(6): 554-564.

Hoese, D.F. & Larson, H.K. 2004. Description of a new species of Cryptocentrus (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from northern Australia, with comments on the genus. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 20: 167-174.

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.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds) The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

Whitley, G.P. 1956. New fishes from Australia and New Zealand. Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales 1954–55: 34-38 figs 1-2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428101

Behaviour:Reef associated, sandy/rubble areas

Behaviour:Shares burrows with alpheid shrimps

Depth:0-40 m

Max weight:7.5 cm


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