Loki Whipgoby, Bryaninops loki Larson 1985

Other Names: Loki Whip Goby, Loki Whip-goby, Loki's Goby, White-line Seawhip Goby

A Loki Whipgoby, Bryaninops loki, on the soft coral Ellisella, in the lagoon entrance channel, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, 16 October 2016. Source: Anne Hoggett / Lizard Island Field Guide, http://lifg.australianmuseum.net.au/. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A commensal goby with a transparent upper body with seven narrow red bars that broaden onto the dusky golden lower part of body (on some individuals, the bars become indistinct as the red and gold merge), and a white to pale yellow internal line running dorsally along the vertebral column. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Bryaninops loki in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Mar 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1316

Loki Whipgoby, Bryaninops loki Larson 1985

More Info


Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, Marchinbar Island, Wessel Islands, Northern Territory, and the northern Great Barrier Reef  and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Montague Island, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits reef walls and drop-offs with strong currents, often on inshore reefs in turbid waters. Lives on sea whips, gorgonian soft corals (such as Junceella, Ellisella and Subergorgia)and black corals (Antipathes).


Dorsal fin V-VI + I,7-9; Anal fin I,7-9; Longitudinal scale count 33–53
the body depth at origin of anal fin 10.5–17.8% SL; body progressively compressed posteriorly; head width slightly greater than head depth; snout short, the length equal to or less than orbit diameter; gill opening extending forward to posterior margin of orbit; one or two canine teeth at side of lower jaw; caudal fin truncate with rounded corners; scales usually extending forward to above pectoral-fin base.
Pelvic fins short, round, cup-like; pelvic spine short, fleshy; A small species, generally less than 20 mm SL


Nape and body transparent dorsally with seven narrow red bars that broaden as they pass onto dusky golden ventral part of body (on some individuals, the red and gold tend to merge, making the bars indistinct); a white to pale yellow line visible dorsally on vertebral column. 

Species Citation

Bryaninops loki Larson 1985, The Beagle 2(1): 81, figs 13-14. Type locality: Lizard Island, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Loki Whipgoby, Bryaninops loki Larson 1985


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 (as Cottogobius  sp.)

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 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

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

Larson, H.K. 1985. A revision of the gobiid genus Bryaninops (Pisces), with a description of six new species. The Beagle. Occasional Papers of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 2(1): 57-93 figs 1-17 

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. 2016. Bryaninops loki. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T192996A2182424. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T192996A2182424.en. Downloaded on 21 August 2018.

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. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Suzuki, T. & Randall, J.E. 2014. Four new gobiid fishes of the genus Bryaninops from the East Indies. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 20(1): 11-26 (p. 20, misidentified as Bryaninops annella)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428078

Behaviour:On gorgonians & sea whips

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:6-45 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:4.5 cm SL

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