Lidwill's Dwarfgoby, Pandaka lidwilli (McCulloch 1917)

Other Names: Lidwill's Dwarf Goby, Midget Goby

Lidwill's Dwarfgoby, Pandaka lidwilli, from Nha Trang, Vietnam. Source: Rick Winterbottom / FishWise Professional. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A tiny translucent green goby, with blackish spots and about 7 dark bars across the back and on the lower side, numerous spots and bars on the head, and a broad band across the cheek. The first dorsal fin is black anteriorly and yellowish-orange posteriorly, and the soft dorsal, anal, pectoral, and caudal fins each have a large basal spot.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Pandaka lidwilli in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Nov 2022,

Lidwill's Dwarfgoby, Pandaka lidwilli (McCulloch 1917)

More Info


Monte Bello Islands, Western Australia, to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in east-Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits estuaries, often among mangroves. McCulloch wrote that the species "occurs in shoals along  the oyster-covered rocks in the salt-water reaches of Cowan Creek, near Sydney."


Dorsal fin VI - 7; Anal fin 7; Pectoral fin 14; Lateral scale rows 21.
Body relatively short, compressed; head slightly depressed; jaws subequal; gill opening not extending anteriorly to a vertical through preopercular margin. Pelvic fins united medially. 
Scales on body ctenoid, cycloid on anterior part; head naked. Sensory canals and pores absent on head; reduced longitudinal pattern of sensory-papillae rows on cheek. . Size: 1.6 cm SL. Distribution: Andaman Sea and West Pacific. Remarks: 


Bdy subtranslucent with many distinct black spots; anterior part of first dorsal fin black; black spot at mid-lateral caudal fin base small, not protruding anteriorly beyond hypural end.


The species is named for Dr. Mark C. Lidwill. "My attention  was first drawn to this species by Dr. Mark C. Lidwill, who observed it while in the quest of somewhat larger game, and it is therefore associated with his name."

Species Citation

Gobius lidwilli McCulloch 1917, Records of the Australian Museum 11(7): 187, pl. 21(3). Type locality: Cowan Creek, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Lidwill's Dwarfgoby, Pandaka lidwilli (McCulloch 1917)


Akihito, P. & Meguro, K. 1975. Pandaka trimaculata, a new species of dwarf goby from Okinawa Prefecture, Japan and the Philippines. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 22(2): 63-67 

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) 

Kunishima, T., Saimaru, H. & Tachihara, K. 2021. Reproductive traits of the dwarf gobies Pandaka trimaculata and Pandaka lidwilli in the western Pacific Ocean: histological evidence from one of the smallest fishes in the world. Journal of Fish Biology 98: 733– 742.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 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 

McCulloch, A.R. 1917. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 4. Records of the Australian Museum 11(7): 163-188 figs 1-2 pls 29-31, see ref at BHL

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 

Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp. 

Whitley, G.P. 1928. Studies in Ichthyology. No. 2. Records of the Australian Museum 16(4): 211-239 figs 1-2 pls 16-18

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428210

Habitat:Estuaries, mangroves

Max Size:2 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map