Yellow Coralgoby, Gobiodon okinawae Sawada, Arai & Abe 1972

Other Names: Okinawa Goby, Yellow Coral Goby

A Yellow Coralgoby, Gobiodon okinawae, in an aquarium at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Phil Munday / Lizard Island Field Guide, License: CC by Attribution

A small uniform bright yellow coralgoby. Juveniles are whitish with a dark internal stripe, and spots on the head and tail
A group of Yellow Coralgobies in an aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Gobiodon okinawae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Yellow Coralgoby, Gobiodon okinawae Sawada, Arai & Abe 1972

More Info


Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, to North Solitary Island, New South Wales: also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits reef lagoons, living in association with tabular Acropora corals throughout its range. Individuals shelter among the branches, and may also hover just above the coral.



A hermaphrodite capable of bi-directional sex change in which adults have the capacity to shift between male and female function.

Similar Species

The Yellow Coralgoby, differs from the similar and sympatric Howson’s Coralgoby, Gobiodon howsoni, in usually having 13 vs 15 branched caudal rays, two vs one enlarged canines on the posterior dentary, the genital papilla falling well short of the anal fin, vs usually reaching the anal-fin origin, and having a uniform bright yellow colour vs 1-2 brown stripes on the body in G. howsoni.

Species Citation

Gobiodon okinawae Sawada, Arai & Abe 1972, Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 19(2): 57, figs 1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 4A, 5A. Type locality: Kayama Island, Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Yellow Coralgoby, Gobiodon okinawae Sawada, Arai & Abe 1972


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Harold, A.S., Winterbottom, R., Munday, P.L. & Chapman, R.W. 2008. Phylogenetic relationships of Indo-Pacific coral gobies of the genus Gobiodon (Teleostei: Gobiidae), based on morphological and molecular data. Bulletin of Marine Science 82(1): 119-136 See ref online

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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

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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428162

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-15 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated (with Acropora)

Max Size:3.5 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map