Goldmann's Sandgoby, Istigobius goldmanni (Bleeker 1852)

Other Names: Goldmann's Goby, Goldmann's Sand-goby

Goldmann's Sandgoby, Istigobius goldmanni, at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: John E. Randall / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale sandgoby with a prominent black bar across the gill cover, up to 30 dark spots on the nape, a row of paired unfused black spots separated by white spots behind the pectoral fin, four broad dark bands on abdomen, 3-4 rows of black spots on the second dorsal fin, and clear pectoral fins with two small dusky spots on the base. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Istigobius goldmanni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Nov 2022,

Goldmann's Sandgoby, Istigobius goldmanni (Bleeker 1852)

More Info


Monte Bello Islands and offshore reefs of Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to at least the Capricorn Group, Southern Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the east-Indo-west-central Pacific: India east to Palau and Fiji, north to Ryukyu Islands (Japan), south to northern Australia and New Caledonia.
Inhabits sandy patches among live coral and rubble, on inshore and sheltered reefs in moderately clear to turbid waters.


Dorsal fin VI, 10-11; Anal fin 9-10; Longitudinal scale series 30-32; Vertebrae 26. 
Body depth 4.9-5.6 in SL; predorsal cycloid scales 7-9, trunk ctenoid; upper pectoral fin rays entire. In male, anal fin when appressed reaching almost the caudal fin; appressed 2nd dorsal fin overlapping caudal. Anal and second dorsal fins of female when appressed reaching to within a distance of 2-3 scales of caudal fin.


The species is named in honour of Carel Goldman, for his "goodwill" in sending a collection of Timor fishes to Bleeker.

Species Citation

Gobius goldmanni Bleeker 1852, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indiƫ 3: 167. Type locality: Kupang, West Timor.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Goldmann's Sandgoby, Istigobius goldmanni (Bleeker 1852)


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

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Bleeker, P. 1852. Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Timor. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indiƫ 3: 159-174 See ref at BHL

Hernaman, V. & Munday, P.L. 2005. Life-history characteristics of coral reef gobies. II. Mortality rate, mating system and timing of maturation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 290: 223-237.

Koumans, F.P. 1953. The Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Gobioidea. Leiden : Brill Vol. 10 423 pp. 95 figs. (as Acentrogobius goldmanni)

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

Larson, H., Murdy, E., Hoese, D., Shibukawa, K., Pezold, F. & Cole, K. 2021. Istigobius goldmanni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T193047A2188282. Accessed on 23 November 2022.

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

Murdy, E.O. & Hoese, D.F. 1985. A revision of the gobioid fish genus Istigobius. Indo-Pacific Fishes 4: 1-41 figs 1-8 pls 1-3 

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428175

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-15 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:6 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map