Neophyte Sandgoby, Fusigobius neophytus (Günther 1877)

Other Names: Neophyte Goby, Sand Goby

A Neophyte Sandgoby, Fusigobius neophytus, at Northwest Islet, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Nov 2004. Source: Sascha Schultz / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A translucent greyish sandgoby with small white and brown spots on the head and body, short dark bands slanting along the back, and a small black spot at the front of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Fusigobius neophytus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Apr 2023,

Neophyte Sandgoby, Fusigobius neophytus (Günther 1877)

More Info


Shark Bay area to Scott Reef, Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to far northern New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits sandy and rubble patches on reef flats and in shallow lagoons.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 9; Anal fin I, 8; Pectoral fin 16-19; Longitudinal scale series 22-24. 
Body depth 4.0-4.6 in SL; pelvic fins fully united; pelvic frenum well developed; gill opening extending almost to below rear edge of opercle; scales mosly ctenoid including those on nape; cycloid scales on breast and pectoral-fin base; operculum naked; median predorsal scales absent, 5-6 scales on side of nape anterior to dorsal fin origin; caudal fin rounded.


Body semi-translucent grey, with small brown spots on head and body, and slanting dark bands along the back.


The specific name neophytus is from the  Greek neos (= new) and phyton (= plant, tree) - the allusion not explained.

Species Citation

Gobius neophytus Günther 1877, Journal Museum Godeffroy 4(13): 174, pl. 108(E). Type locality: Ponape, Huahine, Tahiti and Apia, Samoa.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Neophyte Sandgoby, Fusigobius neophytus (Günther 1877)


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

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

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Brandl, S.J., Quigley, C.N., Casey, J.M., Mercière, A., et al. 2022. Metabolic rates mirror morphological and behavioral differences in two sand-dwelling coral reef gobies. Marine Ecology Progress Series 684: 79-90.

Cole, K.S. 1990. Patterns of gonad structure in hermaphroditic gobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes 28: 125-142.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93, 193-228 in Hutchings, P. (ed.) Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp.

Greenfield, D. & Munroe, T.A. 2016. Fusigobius neophytus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T193167A2203616. Downloaded on 10 January 2019.

Günther, A. 1877. Andrew Garrett's Fische der Südsee. Heft 6. Journal des Museum Godeffroy, Hamburg 4(13): 169-216 pls 101-120

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

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

Kuiter R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

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.

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.

Nakamura, Y., Horinouchi, M., Nakai, T. & Sano, M. 2003. Food habits of fishes in a seagrass bed on a fringing coral reef at Iriomote Island, southern Japan. Ichthyological Research 50: 15-22.

Randall, J.E. 1995. Fusigobius Whitley, a junior synonym of the gobiid fish genus Coryphopterus. Bulletin of Marine Science 56(3): 795-798. (as Coryphopterus neophytus)

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. (as Coryphopterus neophytus)

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.

Whitley, G.P. 1930. Additions to the checklist of the fishes of New South Wales No. 3. The Australian Zoologist 6(2): 117-123 fig. 14

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428146

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand-rubble areas

Max Size:7 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map