Golden Flathead Goby, Glossogobius aureus Akihito & Meguro 1975

Other Names: Golden Goby, Golden Tank Goby

Golden Flathead Goby, Glossogobius aureus. Source: Dinh D. Tran, FiMSeA / License: CC by Attribution

A pale yellowish-brown goby with a darker back, five dusky blotches along the midside, and many faint irregular dusky lines and spots dorsally.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017, Glossogobius aureus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Golden Flathead Goby, Glossogobius aureus Akihito & Meguro 1975

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Northern Australia from the Barlee Range Nature Reserve, Western Australia, to the Burdekin River system, Queensland, and inland drainages in south-western Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical east-Indo-west Pacific. 
Inhabits clear to turbid freshwater rivers and streams, with muddy, sandy or gravel bottoms. Although the species has a marine larval phase, land-locked populations occur in Australia.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 9; Anal fin I, 8-9; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 9 + 8 = 17; Pectoral fin 18-21; Pelvic fin I, 5; Vertebrae 27; Gill rakers 1-2 + 7-9; Tranverse Scales 9-10; Predorsal scales 22-27; Longitudinal scale series 31-33; Horizontal scale rows 8-12 (usually 10).
Body relatively slender, body depth at origin of pelvic fins 14-19% SL, somewhat compressed posteriorly. Head and snout flattened, head length 28-35% SL; Anterior nostril tubular, tube reaching a point about halfway between base of tube and upper lip; posterior nostril a pore. Eye diameter 4-11% SL. Posterior end of maxillary extending below the anterior part of eye in both sexes; teeth in outer and inner rows of both jaws large, outer larger, fine teeth between outer and inner rows; tongue bilobate. Lower end of gill-opening behind lower tip of cleithrum; gill membrane attached to isthmus; uniserial rows of sensory papillae on cheek.
Body scales ctenoid; snout and cheek naked, cycloid scales on upper part of preopercle and opercle, nape and prepelvic space.
Two separate dorsal fins; 2nd to 4th dorsal fin spines slightly filamentous. Pelvic fins united into an oval disc and margin of interspinal frenum smooth; caudal fin rounded.


To around 14cm SL.


Dark above, pale below with 6 blackish bands across back and 5 blackish blotches midlaterally on side, width of middle blotch narrower than half depth of body; blackish blotch behind upper part of pectoral fin base; several faint blackish lines along side; 2 blackish blotches at base of pectoral fin, upper dark. Head with 3 blackish lines from eye, one to middle of upper and lower jaw, one horizontally to upper margin of preopercle anteriorly, third obliquely to posterior margin of preopercle; cheek and opercle mottled with blackish blotches; 5 horizontal pale lines on lower part of cheek. First dorsal fin mottled, mottling on membrane behind sixth spine darker or as a blackish spot; second dorsal fin and upper part of pectoral fins dusky and regularly mottled with dark spots. Anal fin pale with dusky hue, palest distally.  Caudal fin dusky, regularly mottled with dark spots except for upper and lower extremes, lower broader; upper margin dark, lower pale. Pectoral and pelvic fins pale ventrally with dusky hue.


Carnivore - feeds mostly on aquatic insect larvae as well as some crustaceans and small fishes.


Oviparous, benthic spawners. Adults usually migrate to the sea to breed and larvae have a marine stage. It is likely that this species is also capable of breeding in freshwater.

Species Citation

Glossogobius aureus Akihito & Meguro 1975, Jpn J. Ichthyol. 22(3): 128, figs 1, 2. Type locality: Iriomotejima, Japan.


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


Australian Faunal Directory

Golden Flathead Goby, Glossogobius aureus Akihito & Meguro 1975


Akihito, P. & Meguro, K. 1975. Description of a new gobiid fish, Glossogobius aureus, with notes on related species of the genus. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 22(3): 127-142 figs 1-3 

Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp., 63 pls. 

Allen, G.R. 1991. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Publication No. 9. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New Guinea, 268 pp.

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

Hoese, D.F. & Allen, G.R. 2009. Description of three new species of Glossogobius from Australia and New Guinea. Zootaxa 1981: 1-14.

Kottelat, M. 2013. The fishes of the inland waters of southeast Asia: a catalogue and core bibiography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement No. 27: 1-663.

Lake, J.S. 1978. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Melbourne : Thomas Nelson 160 pp. 140 figs. 

Larson, H. 2012. Glossogobius aureus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T196326A2445860. Downloaded on 09 April 2017.

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 

Larson, H.K. & Martin, K.C. 1990. Freshwater Fishes of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences Handbook Series Number 1. Darwin : Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences 102 pp. 73 figs. 

Merrick, J.R. & Schmida, G.E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes Biology and Management. Sydney : J.R. Merrick 409 pp. figs 280 col. figs. 

Pusey, B.J., Kennard, M.J. & Arthington, A.H. 2004. Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia. Collingwood, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 684 pp. 

Pusey, B.J., Kennard, M.J. & Bird, J. 2000. Fishes of the dune fields of Cape Flattery, northern Queensland and other dune systems in north-eastern Australia. Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwater 11(1): 65-74 

Unmack, P.J. 2001. Biogeography of Australian freshwater fishes. Journal of Biogeography 28: 1053-1089.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428148

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Habitat:Freshwater, estuarine, marine larvae

Max Size:14 cm SL

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