Mud-reef Goby, Exyrias belissimus (Smith 1959)

Other Names: Beautiful Goby, Mud Reef Goby

A Mud-reef Goby, Exyrias belissimus, at Cape Leveque, Western Australia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A brownish goby becoming yellowish below, with 7-8 irregular dark brown bars along sides, small silvery white spots on cheeks and gill cover, and reddish bands, streaks and spots on dorsal and anal fins. The first dorsal-fin has filamentous spines.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Exyrias belissimus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020,

Mud-reef Goby, Exyrias belissimus (Smith 1959)

More Info


Coral Bay region, WA (23°30'S) to Escape Reef, QLD (14°49'S). The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific. Inhabits silty bottoms near or under overhanging corals in shallow lagoons and seaward reefs, inlets and estuaries.


Dorsal fin VII + 10-12; Anal fin I, 9-10; Vertebrae 26; Predorsal scales 8-9. 

Body depth about 3.6-3.9 in SL. First dorsal-fin spines usually elongated into filaments with the 3rd and 4th typically longest; spine of second dorsal fin with red and white alternating bands, spots on rays and membrane. Cycloid scales only on nape and isthmus. Cheeks and opercula fully scaled. Teeth small and tightly packed in jaws. 


Dorsal half of body brown, ventral half yellow, with 7-8 dark brown bars; small silvery white spots on cheeks and opercula.

Species Citation

Acentrogobius belissimus Smith 1959, Ichthyol. Bull. Rhodes Univ. Grahamstown 13: 202, pl. 11A. Type locality:  Pinda, Mozambique. 


Dianne J. Bray



Mud-reef Goby, Exyrias belissimus (Smith 1959)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91.

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.

Hoese, D.F. & Winterbottom, R. 1979. A new species of Lioteres (Pisces, Gobiidae) from Kwazulu, with a revised checklist of South African gobies and comments on the generic relationships and endemism of western Indian Ocean gobioids. Royal Ontario Museum, Life Sciences Occasional Paper 31: 1-13.

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Murdy, E.O. 1985. A review of the gobiid fish genera Exyrias and Macrodontogobius, with description of a new species of Exyrias. Indo-Pacific Fishes 10: 1-14 figs 1-3 pls 1-2

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Smith, J.L.B. 1959. Gobioid fishes of the families Gobiidae, Periophthalmidae, Trypauchenidae, Taenioididae and Kraemeriidae of the western Indian Ocean. Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 13: 185-225 figs 1-42 pls 9-13

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428139

Depth:1-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated, silty areas

Max Size:15 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map