Halfbarred Reefgoby, Priolepis semidoliata (Valenciennes 1837)

Other Names: Barrel Goby, Girdled Goby, Half-barred Goby, Head-barred Goby, Redhead Goby

A Halfbarred Reefgoby, Priolepis semidoliata, at Halmahera, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A reefgoby with relatively wide pale bars from the snout to the pectoral-fin base, scales mostly restricted to the abdomen, and few if any scales anterior to the operculum. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Priolepis semidoliata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/149

Halfbarred Reefgoby, Priolepis semidoliata (Valenciennes 1837)

More Info


Shark Bay region to Rowley Shoals and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Cartier Reef in the Timor Sea, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits caves and crevices on shallow seaward reefs.


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 semidoliata (semi =half and doliata =barreled) presumably refers the the pale bars on the head and nape that appear to encircle the anterior half of the body.

Species Citation

Gobius semidoliatus Valenciennes, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1837, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 12: 67. Type locality: Vanikoro Island, Santa Cruz Islands, southwestern Pacific.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Halfbarred Reefgoby, Priolepis semidoliata (Valenciennes 1837)


Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. 2000. Fishes of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 59: 83-95.

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 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Bleeker, P. 1874. Esquisse d'un système naturel des gobioïdes. Archives Néerlandaises des Sciences Naturelles 9: 289-331 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

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. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

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 

Hoese, D.F., Bogorodsky, S.V. & Mal, A.O. 2015. Description of a new species of Trimma (Perciformes: Gobiidae) from the Red Sea, with a discussion of the generic separation of Trimma and Priolepis, with discussion of sensory papillae terminology. Zootaxa 4027(4): 538-550. http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4027.4.4

Hoese, D.F. & Winterbottom, R. 1979. A new species of Lioteres (Pisces, Gobiidae) from Kwazulu, with a revised checklist of South African gobies and comments on the generic relationships and endemism of western Indian Ocean gobioids. Royal Ontario Museum, Life Sciences Occasional Paper 31: 1-13 

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 

Kuiter, R. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

Larson, H. 2016. Priolepis semidoliata . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T193162A2202843. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T193162A2202843.en. Downloaded on 10 March 2020.

Larson, H.K. & Murdy, E.O. 2001. Eleotridae, Gobiidae. pp. 3574-3604 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

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. https://doi.org/10.5343/bms.2012.1050

Moore, G. & Morrison, S. 2009. Fishes of three North West Shelf atolls off Western Australia: Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 77: 221-255 

Moore, G.I., Morrison, S.M., Hutchins, B.J., Allen, G.R. & Sampey, A. 2014. Kimberley marine biota. Historical data: fishes. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 84: 161-206 

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. 

Travers, M.J. & Potter, I.C. 2002. Factors influencing the characteristics of fish assemblages in a large subtropical marine embayment. Journal of Fish Biology 61: 764-784. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2002.tb00910.x

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1837. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 12 507 pp. pls 344-368. See ref at BHL

Winterbottom, R. & Burridge, M. 1993. Revision of the species of Priolepis possessing a reduced transverse pattern of cheek papillae and no predorsal scales (Teleostei; Gobiidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 71: 494-514 figs 1-24

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428011

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-20 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (rare)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:2.5 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map