Tank Goby, Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

Other Names: Flathead Goby, Ganges Goby

A Tank Goby, Glossogobius giurus, from the Kaveri River, Karnataka, India. Source: Trevor Menezes / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A goby with 5 large brown blotches along the midline, the middle blotch narrower than half body depth, no blackish spots on the back, a small dark spot (or two) on first dorsal-fin spine, and the caudal fin mottled with rows of dark spots.

Cite this page as:
Martin F. Gomon, Glossogobius giuris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Feb 2021,

Tank Goby, Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)

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Distributed in northern Australia from the Ashburton River, WA (22°33'S) to the Fitzroy River, QLD (23°21'S) and elsewhere in the tropical Indo-west Pacific; a benthic species in clear to turbid freshwater or brackish streams with rock, gravel or sand bottoms.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 9; Anal fin I, 8; Pectoral fin 17-22; Transverse scales 9-11; Gill rakers 8-12.
Body elongate, compressed, height 6 in length. Head 2.8-3.2 in SL; profile slightly convex. Head and snout flattened. Snout broadly pointed, longer than eye, tip before lower half of eye. Eye 10-25 in SL, interorbital subequal or less than eye diameter. Mouth relatively large, slightly oblique, lower jaw prominent, maxillary reaching at least to below front half of eye; outer row of teeth in upper jaw conical, somewhat enlarged, stout, followed by 2-3 rows of smaller, depressible teeth; teeth in outer row on lower jaw conical, somewhat enlarged, stout, followed by 2-3 rows of smaller, depressible teeth; tongue deeply emarginate; sensory papillae on cheek below eye in multiple rows; indistinct mandibular frenum (on chin). Lower end of gill-opening behind lower tip of cleithrum; gill-membrane attached to isthmus.
Scales ctenoid on body, cycloid on breast and pectoral fin base, opercle with patch of cycloid scales dorsally; predorsal scaled up to behind eyes, scales ctenoid on side of nape; predorsal scales 14-24; lateral line absent; longitudinal series 29-35; horizontal scale rows.
Two dorsal fins, first not as high as body, second spine longest; second dorsal and anal fin lower than body. Caudal fin oblong, about as long as head, rounded. Pelvic fins fully united into disc. Pectoral and ventral fin a little shorter than head.


To around 14 cm SL


No blackish spots on back; middle of 5 large brown blotches on lateral midline narrower than half body depth at this position. Characteristic small dark spot (or two) on outer face of anteriormost first dorsal fin spine. Anal and pelvic fins plain. Caudal fin mottled with rows of dark spots.


Feeds mainly on aquatic macroinvertebrates, especially insect larvae and nymphs; macrocrustaceans and small fish are also consumed in small quantities.


Oviparous, benthic spawners that migrate to the sea to breed but may also breed in fresh water. Relatively fecund, producing between 1,000 and 16,000 eggs. Eggs are small (1.0 x 0.3 mm). Larvae have a marine phase and mature rapidly.

Species Citation

Gobius giuris Hamilton-Buchanan, F. (1822). An Account of the Fishes Found in the River Ganges and its Branches.  Edinburgh : Archibald Constable 405 pp. pls 1–39 [51, 366, pl. 33(15)].

Gangetic River region, India.


Martin F. Gomon

Tank Goby, Glossogobius giuris (Hamilton-Buchanan 1822)


Akihito, P. & Meguro, K. (1975). Description of a new gobiid fish, Glossogobius aureus, with notes on related species of the genus. Jpn. J. Ichthyol. 22(3): 127–142 figs 1–3.

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

Allen, G.R. (1989). Freshwater Fishes of Australia.  Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp. pls 1–63

Lake, J.S. (1978). Australian Freshwater Fishes.  Melbourne : Thomas Nelson 160 pp. 140 figs (p. 73, in part).

Larson, H.K. & Martin, K.C. (1990). Freshwater Fishes of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences Handbook Series Number 1.  Darwin : Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 102 pp. 73 figs.

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. (1984). Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management.  Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs (p. 311, in part).

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428151

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Freshwater, brackish streams

Max Size:14 cm SL

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