Maori Coralgoby, Gobiodon histrio (Valenciennes 1837)

Other Names: Actor Coral Goby, Blue-spotted Coral Goby, Blue-spotted Coral-goby, Broad-banded Goby, Broad-barred Goby, Broad-barred Maori Goby, Maori Coral Goby

A Maori Coralgoby, Gobiodon histrio, from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland - photographed in an aquarium. Source: Phil Munday / Lizard Island Field Guide, License: CC by Attribution

A green coralgoby with red to violet stripes, broken lines or rows of spots along the side, 4-5 reddish vertical bars on the head and pectoral-fin base that extend above the level of the eye, and a dark spot on the upper rear part of the gill cover. 
Coralgobies live among the branches of stony corals, relying on the corals for shelter, food and a site for reproduction.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Gobiodon histrio in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Maori Coralgoby, Gobiodon histrio (Valenciennes 1837)

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Shark Bay region, Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, to One Tree Island, southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea to Samoa, north to southern Japan, and south to northwestern and northeastern Australia.
Like other coralgobies, the Maori Coralgoby shelters among branches of stony corals, often favouring the branching coral Acropora nasuta (Munday 2000). On the Great Barrier Reef, this coral species has two colour morphs - one with blue tips, the other with brown tips. G. histrio often prefers the 'blue-tip' variety, with one breeding pair sheltering within a single coral colony.


Feeds on a range of small invertebrates.


Maori Coralgobies are capable of changing sex during their life. Remarkably, they can change sex in both directions, from male to female (protandrous), and from female to male (protogynous).


Maori Coralgobies keep their Acropora coral hosts free of Turtleweed, a green filamentous alga, which can smother the coral.

Species Citation

Gobius histrio Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1837, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 12: 132. Type locality: Bantam; Java, eastern Indian Ocean; Tongatapu, Tonga Islands, South Pacific.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Maori Coralgoby, Gobiodon histrio (Valenciennes 1837)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428160

Biology:Bi-directional sex change

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated, with Acropora corals

Max Size:3.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map