Headspot Eviota, Eviota melasma Lachner & Karnella 1980

Other Names: Black-spotted Pygmy-goby, Headspot Dwarfgoby, Headspot Pygmygoby, Melasma Pygmy Goby

A Headspot Eviota, Eviota melasma, at Pidgin Point, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, November 2018. Source: Lyle Vail via Anne Hoggett / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A semi-transparent pygmygoby with irregular reddish-brown internal bars along the body, a black spot (of varying intensities) above the gill opening, irregular reddish blotches on the nape, red spots on the cheek, 3 reddish blotches separated by white to yellowish bars on the belly, and a narrow white band on the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Eviota melasma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Sep 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1351

Headspot Eviota, Eviota melasma Lachner & Karnella 1980

More Info


Ashmore Reef and surrounding reefs in the Timor Sea, and the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, to One Tree Island, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west-central Pacific: from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands throughout the East Indies, east to Samoa and New Caledonia, south to Australia; north to the Yaeyama Islands of Japan and east to Micronesia.
Inhabits coastal and offshore reefs, including reef slopes, spur and groove, patch reefs, sand slopes and rocky substrates.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 8-10; Anal fin I, 8-9; Pectoral fin 15-18, 10th-16th rays branched; Longitudinal scale series 23-25. 
Scales ctenoid, absent on head and breast; separated pelvic fins, thin membrane joining bases; depth of body 6.5-7.7 in SL.


The specific name melasma is from the Greek melasma (= black spot), in reference to the dark spot on each side of the top of the head.

Species Citation

Eviota melasma Lachner & Karnella 1980, Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 315: 27, figs 8c- d, 9b, 10. Type locality: Endeavour Reef, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Headspot Eviota, Eviota melasma Lachner & Karnella 1980


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. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Depczynski, M. & Bellwood, D.R. 2005. Wave energy and spatial variability in community structure of small cryptic coral reef fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 303: 283-293

Depczynski, M. & Bellwood, D.R. 2006. Extremes, plasticity, and invariance in vertebrate life history traits: insights from coral reef fishes. Ecology 87(12): 3119-3127.

Greenfield, D.W. 2017. An overview of the dwarfgobies, the second most speciose coral-reef fish genus (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 29: 32-54. http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1115683

Greenfield, D., Larson, H. & Williams, J.T. 2016. Eviota melasma. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T193237A2212856. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T193237A2212856.en. Downloaded on 04 June 2019.

Greenfield, D.W. & Randall, J.E. 2016. A review of the dwarfgobies of Fiji, including descriptions of five new species (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 20: 25-75. PDF Open access

Greenfield, D.W. & Winterbottom, R. 2016. A key to the dwarfgoby species (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Eviota) described between 1871 and 2016. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 24: 35–90. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.219620 Open access 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Lachner, E.A. & Karnella, S.J. 1980. Fishes of the Indo-Pacific genus Eviota with descriptions of eight new species (Teleostei : Gobiidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 315: 1-127 figs 1-66 https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.315

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.

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., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

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:37428124

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-18 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:3.3 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map