Ornate Sandgoby, Istigobius ornatus (Rüppell 1830)

Other Names: Ornate Goby, Ornate Sand Goby, Ornate Sand-goby

An Ornate Sandgoby, Istigobius ornatus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Mark Shepherd / Lizard Island Research Station. License: CC by Attribution

A pale greyish sandgoby with small blue and reddish spots or speckles on the gill cover, the anterior tip of the first dorsal fin bright yellow, two rows of dark dashes along the side and 5 vertical rows of white spots on pectoral fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Istigobius ornatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Nov 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3059

Ornate Sandgoby, Istigobius ornatus (Rüppell 1830)

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Recorded in Australia from Trimouille Island, Western Australia, to One Tree Island, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west Pacific.

Commonly found amongst mangroves and other silty, rocky and rubble estuarine habitats.


Feeds on small invertebrates.

Species Citation

Gobius ornatus Rüppell, 1830, Fische des Rothen Meeres. 3: 135. Type locality:Massaua, Red Sea. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Australian Faunal Directory

Ornate Sandgoby, Istigobius ornatus (Rüppell 1830)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

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

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266. https://doi.org/10.1071/MF9850247

Chiu Leu, M.-Y. & Meng, P.-J.  2019. Year‐round natural spawning, early development, and the effects of temperature, salinity and prey density on captive ornate goby Istigobius ornatus (Rüppell, 1830) larval survival. Aquaculture Research 50(1): 173-187. https://doi.org/10.1111/are.13880

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

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. & Lim, K.K.P. 2005. A guide to the gobies of Singapore. Singapore : Singapore Science Centre 164 pp. 

Masuda, H., Amaoka, K., Araga, C., Uyeno, T. & Yoshino, T. (eds) 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokyo : Tokai University Press Vol. 1–2 437 pp. 247 figs 370 pls.

Murdy, E.O. 1985. Osteology of Istigobius ornatusBulletin of Marine Science 36(1): 124-138

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

Patzner, R.A., Van Tassell, J.L., Kovacic, M. & Kapoor, B.G. (ed.) 2011. The biology of gobies. Science Publishers: Jersey. ISBN 978-1-57808-436-4. xv, 685 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. 

Richardson, J. 1844. Ichthyology. pp. 1-16 pls 1-6, 7-8 (parts), 9-10 in Richardson, J. & Gray, J.E. (eds). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross, R.N., F.R.S., during the years 1839–43. London : E.W. Janson Vol. 2. 

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1830. Atlas zu der Reise im nördlichen Afrika. Fische des Rothen Meeres. 3. Frankfurt : H.L. Brünner 95-141 pls 25-35.

Sparks, J.S., Britz, R. & Larson, H. 2016. Istigobius ornatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T193213A2209712. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T193213A2209712.en. Downloaded on 05 July 2018.

Whitley, G.P. 1932. Fishes. Scientific Reports of the Great Barrier Reef Expedition 1928-1929 4(9): 267-316 figs 1-5 pls 1-4

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428178

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-2 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Estuaries, mangroves

Max Size:11 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map