Orangespotted Sandgoby, Istigobius rigilius (Herre 1953)

Other Names: Brown-speckled Sand Goby, Brown-speckled Sand-goby, Orangespotted Goby, Orange-spotted Goby, Rigilius Goby

An Orangespotted Sandgoby, Istigobius rigilius, near Corbett Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, December 2001. Source: Erik Schlogl / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale sandgoby covered in orange-brown and white speckles, brown lines on the gill cover, a row of paired brown spots along body behind the pectoral fin separated by white spots or dashes, and sometimes 3-4 dusky vertical bars on the abdomen of males.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Istigobius rigilius in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Dec 2023,

Orangespotted Sandgoby, Istigobius rigilius (Herre 1953)

More Info


Offshore reefs of Western Australia, Ashmore and Cartier reefs, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to One Tree Island, Queensland; also the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west-central Pacific: Indonesia east to Marshall Islands and Fiji, north to Philippines and southern Japan, south to northern Australia.

Usually inhabits sandy patches amongst coral and rubble in lagoons and bays on oceanic and clear offshore reefs in depths to 35 m.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 10-11; Anal fin I, 9-10;  Predorsal with 7-9 cycloid scales, reaching interorbital space; Longitudinal scale series 29-32; Segmented and non branching caudal-fin rays 4, branching 13. 
Body depth 4.7-6.1 in SL; 4th dorsal-fin spine longest; no sharp distinction between sexes in pigmentation and elongation of 2nd dorsal, pelvic and anal fins; upper pectoral fin rays entire; pelvic fins fully united with well-developed frenum; scales absent from cheek and opercle.
Genital papilla of male terminating to side of anal spine. Papilla of female truncate and terminating posteriorly well before origin of anal fin.


Body yellowish white; 2 brown diagonal lines from preoperculum to upper jaw, connected by a single line; 2 almost vertical brown lines on operculum. Males sometimes with 3-4 dusky vertical bars on abdomen.


The species is named rigilius for Rigili Island, Eniwetok Atoll, the type locality.

Species Citation

Pallidogobius rigilius Herre 1953, Philippine J. Sci. 82(2): 185. Type locality: Rigili Island, Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Orangespotted Sandgoby, Istigobius rigilius (Herre 1953)


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.

Herre, A.W. 1953. Tropical Pacific gobies with vomerine teeth. Philippine Journal of Science 82(2): 181-188 

Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123 

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.W. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Larson, H.K., Murdy, E. & Van Tassell, J. 2010. Istigobius rigilius (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154861A115244556. Downloaded on 19 June 2018.

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

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls. 

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. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

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. 

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428179

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map