Fierce Shrimpgoby, Ctenogobiops feroculus Lubbock & Polunin 1977

Other Names: Pale Shrimp-goby, Sandy Prawn-goby

A Fierce Shrimpgoby, Ctenogobius feroculus, in the Maldives. Source: Otakar Seycek / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A whitish shrimpgoby with three rows of large brown spots along the sides, a dark blotch behind the eye, small dark spots and streaks on the head, and a white marking on the pectoral fin. 
Usually seen in pairs, Seekign refuge in the burrow of an alpheid shrimp. Inhabits 

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Ctenogobiops feroculus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2024,

Fierce Shrimpgoby, Ctenogobiops feroculus Lubbock & Polunin 1977

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Clerke Reef, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the Great Barrier Reef from the Torres Straits to at least One Tree Island, Queensland; also at Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits clear sandy and rubble areas in shallow lagoons and reef flats. 


Dorsal fin VI + I,11-12; Anal fin I,11; Pectoral fin 19-20; Longitudinal scale series 52-58. Scales ctenoid dorsally on body to below 6th dorsal spine, cycloid anteriorly; gill opening extending forward to posterior margin of preopercle; body depth 4.7-5.5 in standard length; head length 3.1-3.45 in standard length; 1st dorsal spine longest, sometimes prolonged, 3.0-3.5 in standard length; caudal fin rounded, about equal to head length.


Whitish with 3 longitudinal rows of dark orangish-brown spots, those of 2nd row mostly as double spots and often forming a triangle with a spot of upper row; lower row of spots midlateral and consisting of 6 or 7 spots, the 1st 4 or 5 horizontally elongate; a dark blotch behind eye, a more elongate one below on cheek, sometimes with a blue and/or yellow line just below; often a short dark line behind corner of mouth; 2 dark brown spots on opercle; a white spot in middle of pectoral fin near base, sometimes elongate; basal 1/3 of anal fin white, the outer 2/3 blackish; median part of pelvic disc blackish.

Species Citation

Ctenogobiops feroculus Lubbock & Polunin, 1977, Rev. Suisse Zool. 84(2): 509, figs 5-8, pl. 3. Type locality: Île Amédée, New Caledonia. 


Dianne J. Bray

Fierce Shrimpgoby, Ctenogobiops feroculus Lubbock & Polunin 1977


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.

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

Lubbock, R. & Polunin, N.V.C. 1977. Notes on the Indo-west Pacific genus Ctenogobiops (Teleostei : Gobiidae) with descriptions of three new species. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 84(2): 505-514 figs 1-10 pls 1-3

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

Randall, J.E., Shao, K.-T. & Chen, J.-P. 2003. A review of the Indo-Pacific gobiid fish genus Ctenogobiops, with descriptions of two new species. Zoological Studies 42(4): 506-515. PDF

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:37428108

Behaviour:Shares burrows with alpheid shrimps

Depth:1-20 m (usually 1-5)

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy & rubble areas

Max Size:6.5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map