Scaleless Goby, Schismatogobius hoesei (Keith, Lord & Larson 2017)

A male Scaleless Goby, Schismatogobius hoesei, Endeavour River, Queensland. Source: Douglass F. Hoese / Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved


A small whitish to pinkish-brown freshwater goby with three three dark bars across the back and upper sides, body with whitish to pale bluish spots, speckles and a vermiculate pattern of fine brownish lines, and a short saddle across the nape before the first dorsal fin. 

In Australia, this species was previously misidentified as Schismatogobius insignum.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017, Schismatogobius hoesei in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Sep 2020,

Scaleless Goby, Schismatogobius hoesei (Keith, Lord & Larson 2017)

More Info


Endemic to the wet tropics region of Queensland, and recorded from the Endeavour River to Liverpool Creek.

The Scalesless Goby inhabits freshwater creeks and rivers within 50km of the sea. The species prefers sandy and fine gravel substrates with slow to moderate but steadily flowing relatively clear water - usually in shallow transitional areas between pools and rapids.


Dorsal fin VI + 1-9; Anal fin I, 9; Pectoral fin 15-17; Pelvic fin I, 5; CAudal fin 11-12 (branched rays).


To around 4cm SL.


Yellow with 3 broad, brown bars crossing back and diagonally forward down sides to belly; first under first dorsal, second under second dorsal, and third just behind second dorsal; sprinkling of minute brown specks between bands, leaving ground color as a series of white spots and dots; wide, brown blotch or crossband in front of first dorsal, above base of pectoral; brown or black reticulations on lower half of body behind pectoral; cheeks and region behind eyes more or less dotted with small, dark brown spots. First dorsal fin with two brown to black stripes or 2-3 rows of deep brown spots; second dorsal with 4 rows of dark brown spots appearing as cross-bars; base of caudal with white spot surrounded by broad, dark brown band, followed by 2 large white spots near upper and lower margins; rest of fin with large brown spots forms cross bars; pectoral crossed by 3-4 rows of large brown spots; pelvic and anal fins colorless.


Feeds on small insect larvae.


Oviparous, benthic spawners. Males construct a nest in coarse substrate into which the female deposits eggs. Eggs are adhesive. Larvae are likely to hatch within around 4 days.


The species is "named hoesei in dedication to Doug Hoese, eminent gobyologist and good friend who first collected this species in Australia and recognised its significance".

Species Citation

Schismatogobius hoesei Keith, Lord & Larson 2017, Cybium 41(1): 60, Figs. 2D. Type locality: South branch of Endeavour River, west of Cooktown, Queensland, Australia.


Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Scaleless Goby, Schismatogobius hoesei (Keith, Lord & Larson 2017)


Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia.  Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp. pls 1–63 (as Schismatogobius sp.)

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia.  Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. (as Schismatogobius sp.)

Donaldson, J. A., Ebner, B. C. & Fulton, C. J. 2013. Flow velocity underpins microhabitat selectivity in amphidromous gobies of the Australian Wet Tropics. Freshwater Biology 58: 1038–1051 (as Schismatogobius sp.)

Hoese, D.F. & Larson, H.K. 2006. Family Gobiidae. pp. 1612-1697 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp. (as Schismatogobius insignum)

Keith, P., Lord, C. & Larson, H.K. 2017. Review of Schismatogobius (Gobiidae) from Papua New Guinea to Samoa, with description of seven new species. Cybium 41(1): 45-66.

Pusey B., Kennard M. & Arthington A. 2004. Freshwater Fishes of North-Eastern Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood Australia. 684 pp. (as Schismatogobius sp).

Schmida, G. 208. A wild Australia guide, freshwater fishes. Archerfield, Queensland: Steve Parrish Publishing, 96 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428248

Behaviour:Buries in sandy bottom


Habitat:Freshwater streams

Max Size:4 cm SL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map