Blackspot Mangrovegoby, Mugilogobius stigmaticus (De Vis 1884)

Other Names: Blackspot Mangrove Goby

Illustration of a type specimen of Mugilogobius devisi (= Mugilogobius stigmaticus). Source: Pl 36 (fig. 2) in McCulloch & Ogilby (1919) Rec. Aust. Mus. 12(10): 193-291. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small robust goby with a subterminal mouth, body compressed posteriorly and more rounded anteriorly, about nine indistinct narrow bars or square brown blotches along the midside, bars and a reticulate pattern on the head, and a pair of (variably-developed) dark spots on the caudal-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Mugilogobius stigmaticus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Feb 2023,

Blackspot Mangrovegoby, Mugilogobius stigmaticus (De Vis 1884)

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Endemic to eastern Australia from the Ross River, Townsville, Queensland, to Batemans Bay, New South Wales. The species has been introduced to the Gulf St Vincent, South Australia, presumably via the ballast water of ships.
Inhabits estuarine areas including mangroves.


Dorsal fin VI + I,6-10; Anal fin I, 7-8; Vertebrae 26; Longitudinal scales 35-51; TRB 12-18; Predorsal scales 17-25, mostly small, anterior few sometimes larger, extending to between rear preopercular margin and rear of eyes; ctenoid scales on body extending forward in wedge to behind pectoral fin; third spine of dorsal fin modally longest, but no spines elongate; caudal fin rounded posteriorly.

Similar Species

Mugiogobius stigmaticus is most similar to M. platynotus and M. platystomus, which all overlap in distribution. M stigmaticus is most easily distinguished from M. platynotus by predorsal scale number and extent (0-21, mean of 4, in M. platynotus, scales just reaching preopercular edge or either side of naked midline; versus 17-30, mean of 22, in M. stigmaticus, with scales extending halfway between preopercular border and eyes, and midline always scaled). M. platynotus also mostly has cycloid scales on the body, with ctenoid scales restricted to two areas, one patch behind the pectoral fin and an area on the caudal peduncle extending forward to behind rear of the second dorsal fin. M. stigmaticus has a more extensive covering of ctenoid scales on the body, which usually extends forward to behind the pectoral fin.
M. stigmaticus differs from M. platystomus in the colour pattern of the head, having bars and a reticulate pattern (versus stripes in M. platystomus); the continuous extent of ctenoid scales along the sides (versus two patches of ctenoid scales, in a few specimens only, the two areas joined by one or two rows of ctenoid scales); and the relatively low, non-elongate first dorsal fin spines (versus first four spine tips always free of membrane and often elongate) (Larson 2001).


The specific name is from the Greek stigmaticus (= marked).

Species Citation

Gobius stigmaticus De Vis 1884, Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(3): 686. Type locality: Moreton Bay, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Blackspot Mangrovegoby, Mugilogobius stigmaticus (De Vis 1884)


Bell, J.D., Pollard, D.A., Burchmore, J.J., Pease, B.C. & Middleton, M.J. 1984. Structure of a fish community in a temperate tidal mangrove creek in Botany Bay, New South Wales. Marine and Freshwater Research 35: 33-46.

De Vis, C.W. 1884. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 4. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(3): 685-698 See ref at BHL

Gee, J.H. & Gee, P.A. 1991. Reactions of gobioid fishes to hypoxia: buoyancy control and aquatic surface respiration. Copeia 1991(1): 17-28

Hammer, M.P. 2006. Range extensions for four estuarine gobies (Pisces: Gobiidae) in southern Australia: historically overlooked native taxa or recent arrivals. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 130(2): 187-196 (as Mugilogobius platynotus)

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

Larson, H.K. 2001. A revision of the gobiid fish genus Mugilogobius (Teleostei: Gobioidei), and its systematic placement. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 62: 1-233

Mazumder, D., Saintilan, N. & Williams, R.J. 2006. Fish assemblages in three tidal saltmarsh and mangrove flats in temperate NSW, Australia: a comparison based on species diversity and abundance. Wetlands Ecology and Management 14: 201-209.

McCulloch, A.R. & Ogilby, J.D. 1919. Some Australian fishes of the family Gobiidae. Records of the Australian Museum 12(10): 193-291 figs 31-37 (described as Mugilogobius devisi, an unnecessary Replacement name for Gobius stigmaticus De Vis 1884)

Whitley, G.P. 1930. Additions to the checklist of the fishes of New South Wales No. 3. The Australian Zoologist 6(2): 117-123 fig. 14 

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15 (as Ellogobius stigmaticus)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428192

Depth:0-5 m

Habitat:Estuaries, mangroves

Max Size:4.2 cm SL


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