Purple Eelgoby, Taenioides purpurascens (De Vis 1884)

Other Names: Purple Eel Goby, Smooth Goby

A Purple Eelgoby, Taenioides purpurascens, caught in Fullerton Cove, Hunter River, Newcastle, New South Wales, February 2017. Source: Derrick Cruz / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A dark purplish eel-like goby with long-based dorsal and anal fins, minute eyes, prominent rows of raised papillae on the head, an upturned mouth with an outer row of curved slender teeth, chin barbels, and no scales.

Video of a Purple Eelgoby from Lakewood City Reserve, Bonnet Bay, Woronora River, Sydney, New South Wales, 27 January 2014.

A Purple Eelgoby collected in Fullerton Cove, Hunter River, Newcastle, NSW, February 2017.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Taenioides purpurascens in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/163

Purple Eelgoby, Taenioides purpurascens (De Vis 1884)

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Endemic to eastern Australia, from Moreton Bay, Queensland, to the Shoalhaven River, New South Wales. Inhabits burrows in the soft sediments of estuaries.


Body anguilliform, naked; head with prominent raised papillose ridges; eyes minute; teeth long and curved. Soft dorsal and anal fins long-based, partly united with the caudal fin.








Similar Species


Species Citation

Leme purpurascens De Vis 1884, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 1 9(3): 698. Type locality: Brisbane, QLD.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Purple Eelgoby, Taenioides purpurascens (De Vis 1884)


De Vis, C.W. 1884. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 4. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(3): 685-698 (as Amblyopus niger)

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

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.

McCulloch, A.R. 1922. Check list of the Fishes and Fish-Like Animals of New South Wales. Royal Zoological Society of N. S. W.  i-XXvi, 1-104, Pl. i-xliii.

McCulloch, A.R. & Ogilby, J.D. 1919. Some Australian fishes of the family Gobiidae. Records of the Australian Museum 12(10): 193-291 figs 31-37 (as Leme purpurascens)

Murdy, E. 2011. Systematics of Amblyopinae. Chapter 1.8, pp. 107-118. In: Patzner, R.A., Van Tassell, J.L., Kovačić, M. & Kapoor, B.G. (eds) The Biology of Gobies. Enfield, New Hampshire : Science Publishers 685 pp.

Murdy, E.O. 2018. A redescription of the gobiid fish Taenioides purpurascens(Gobiidae: Amblyopinae) with comments on, and a key to, species in the genus. Ichthyological Research 65(4): 454-461 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-018-0635-6, open access

Murdy, E.O. & Randall, J.E. 2002. Taenioides kentalleni, a new species of eel goby from Saudi Arabia (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae). Zootaxa 93: 1-6.

Ogilby, J.D. 1886. Catalogue of the Fishes of New South Wales, with their principal synonyms. Sydney : Government Printer 67 pp. (as Gobioides purpurascens)

Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428260


Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Estuaries, soft bottom

Max Size:At least 23 cm


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