Orange Convict Reefgoby, Priolepis profunda (Weber 1909)

An Orange Convict Reefgoby, Priolepis profunda, in Bali, Indonesia. Source: Andrey Ryanskiy / Fishbase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A brown reefgoby with a distinct large black blotch at the anterior base of the first dorsal fin, and narrow blue bands on the head and body. The species lacks bands dorsally on the caudal fin.

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

Orange Convict Reefgoby, Priolepis profunda (Weber 1909)

More Info


WNW of Dampier, Western Australia, to the Arafura Sea, Northern Territory. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific: Thailand, northwestern Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea and Samar Sea, the Philippines.


Dorsal fin VI + I,10; Anal fin I,8. 
Diagnosis (from Hoese & Larson 2010):  Interorbital broad, with a slight depression between eyes. Predorsal scales covered with ctenoid scales to above mideye, a small naked patch immediately before first dorsal fin; no scales immediately behind eye before transverse postocular papilla row. Prepelvic area partly scaled immediately before pelvic origin, in 2–8 rows. Usually no opercular scales, but rarely 1–5 small scales dorsally. Cheek without scales. Second dorsal rays usually I, 10; anal rays usually I, 8; pectoral rays usually 19. Transverse pattern of sensory papilla rows on cheek. Pelvic fins connected to form a plate, but no interspinal membrane; fifth ray with multiple branches, length about 75–80% of length of fourth ray. Mouth very oblique, jaws form an angle for 55–60 with body axis.


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 specific name is from the Latin profundus (= deep, bottomless, vast), possibly in reference the deep reef habitat of this species.

Species Citation

Quisquilius profundus Weber 1909, Notes from the Leyden Museum 31(2): 155. Type locality: Sumbawa, Indonesia; Dongala, Palos Bay, Sulawesi, Indonesia, depth 36 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Orange Convict Reefgoby, Priolepis profunda (Weber 1909)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Brooks, W.M. 2018. A new species of Priolepis (Pisces: Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 31: 32-37.

Hoese, D.F. & Larson, H.K. 2010. Description of two new species of the genus Priolepis from the Indo-Pacific with redescription of Priolepis profunda and Priolepis psygmophilia. Ichthyological Research 57: 373-388

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001.  Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne, Australia : Zoonetics, pp 623–893 (as Priolepis sp.)

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

Manabe, H., Toyoda, K., Nagamoto, K., Dewa S.I., et al. 2013. Bidirectional sex change in seven species of Priolepis (Actinopterygii: Gobiidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 89(2): 635-642.

Weber, M. 1909. Note IV. Diagnosen neuer Fische der Siboga-Expedition. Notes from the Leyden Museum 31(2): 143-169 See ref at BHL

Winterbottom, R. & Burridge, M. 1992. Revision of Egglestonichthys and of Priolepis species possessing a transverse pattern of cheek papillae (Teleostei; Gobiidae), with a discussion of relationships. Canadian Journal of Zoology 70: 1934-1946

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428239


Depth: 45-114 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:3.4 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map