Network Reefgoby, Priolepis inhaca (Smith 1949)

Other Names: Brick Goby, Brick Reef Goby

A Network Reefgoby, Priolepis inhaca, at Flores, Indonesia. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A small pinkish-grey goby with dark brown scale edges forming a network pattern, three pale vertical lines below the eye and one on the gill cover, and interconnected pale lines on top of the head.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Priolepis inhaca in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jun 2024,

Network Reefgoby, Priolepis inhaca (Smith 1949)

More Info


Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to northern New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific.


Dorsal spines (total): 7; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 8.  absence of pelvic frenum; longitudinal scale series 26-28; predorsal scales 12-17; ctenoid body scales; cycloid scales on pectoral fin base, breast and midlaterally on abdomen; opercle of adult with cycloid scales; predorsal scales absent; posterior edge of tubular posterior nostril adherent to edge of orbit; cheek with single vertical row of papillae; depth of body 4.0 in SL


Species of the genus Priolepis form monogamous pairs, and are capable of bidirectional sex change. In laboratory experiments with female-female pairs, the larger individual changed sex to male, and in male-male pairs, the smaller changed to female. The gonads of these species simultaneously formed ovarian and testicular portions with an accessory gonadal structure (Manabe et al. 2013). 


The species is named inhaca for the type locality, Inhaca Island, Mozambique.

Species Citation

Gobius inhaca Smith 1949, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 12 2(7): 103. Type locality: Inhaca, Delagoa Bay, Mozambique. 


Bray, D.J. 2021


Australian Faunal Directory

Network Reefgoby, Priolepis inhaca (Smith 1949)


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.

Hoese, D.F. 1986. Family No. 240: Gobiidae. pp. 774-807 figs in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds) Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 
Myers, R.F. 1989. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Guam : Coral Graphics 298 pp.

Manabe H, Toyoda K., Nagamoto K., Dewa S.I., Sakurai M., Hagiwara K., Shinomiya A. & Sunobe T. 2013. Bidirectional sex change in seven species of Priolepis (Actinopterygii: Gobiidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 89(2): 635-642.

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.

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 

Smith, J.L.B. 1949. Forty-two fishes new to South Africa, with notes on others. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12 2(7): 97-111 

Smith, J.L.B. 1959. Gobioid fishes of the families Gobiidae, Periophthalmidae, Trypauchenidae, Taenioididae and Kraemeriidae of the western Indian Ocean. Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 13: 185-225 figs 1-42 pls 9-13 (as Quisquilius inhaca)

Winterbottom, R. & Burridge, M. 1993. Revision of the Indo-Pacific Priolepis species possessing a reduced transverse pattern of cheek papillae, and predorsal scales (Teleostei; Gobiidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 71: 2056-2076 figs 1-23

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428238


Depth:12-26 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:4 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map