Lemon Coralgoby, Gobiodon citrinus (Rüppell 1838)

Other Names: Fourbar Goby, Four-bar Maori Goby, Lemon Coral Goby, Poison Goby

Lemon Coralgobies, Gobiodon citrinus, on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A small yellow to yellowish green or black goby with blue vertical lines around dark brown goby with a pair of pale blue bars through the eyes, two bars on the gill cover, a small dark spot on the top of the pectoral-fin base, and pale blue stripes along the dorsal- and anal-fin bases. 
Lemon coralgobies live among the branches of Acropora corals.

Video of a Lemon Coralgoby in an aquarium

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Gobiodon citrinus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 29 May 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/131

Lemon Coralgoby, Gobiodon citrinus (Rüppell 1838)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from about Carnarvon, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the Murray Islands to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also at Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Occurs elsewhere in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Lives amongst the branches of Acropora corals in sheltered lagoon habitats.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 10; anal fin I, 9; Pectoral fin 18-19. 
Body depth 2.3-2.7 in SL; pelvic-fin frenum and basal membrane complete; scales absent.



The Lemon Coralgoby produces a toxic mucous.

Species Citation

Gobius citrinus Rüppell, 1838, Fische des Rothen Meeres 4: 139, pl. 32(4). Type locality: Massaua, Red Sea.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Lemon Coralgoby, Gobiodon citrinus (Rüppell 1838)


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., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Harold, A.S., Winterbottom, R., Munday, P.L. & Chapman, R.W. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of Indo-Pacific coral gobies of the genus Gobiodon (Teleostei: Gobiidae), based on morphological and molecular data. Bulletin of Marine Science 82(1): 119-136

Herler, J., Koblmüller, S. & Sturmbauer, C. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of coral-associated gobies (Teleostei, Gobiidae) from the Red Sea based on mitochondrial DNA data. Marine Biology 156: 725–739.

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.W. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Munday, P.L., Harold, A.S. & Winterbottom, R.W. 1999. Guide to coral-dwelling gobies, genus Gobiodon (Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 26: 53-58.

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.

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1838. Neue Wirbelthiere zu der Fauna von Abyssinien gehörig. Fische des Rothen Meeres. Frankfurt Vol. 4, pp. 81–148, pls 22–33.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428158

Biology:Able to change sex (both ways)

Depth:To 15 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated, amongst Acropora corals

Max Size:6.6 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map