Network Reefgoby, Priolepis agrena Winterbottom & Burridge 1993

Other Names: Fishnet Pygmygoby
A rare reef goby with the strongly pigmented scale pocket margins forming a dark mesh-like pattern on the nape and body. The colour in life is unknown.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Priolepis agrena in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jun 2024,

Network Reefgoby, Priolepis agrena Winterbottom & Burridge 1993

More Info


Tijou Reef, northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species is known from the west Pacific: Philippines, and possibly Papua New Guinea. Inhabits reef crevices.


Dorsalfin VI + I,10; Anal fin I,8; Pectoral fin 18-19; Gill rakers 3+13; Longitudinal scale series 27-28.
Scale pockets strongly outlined with chromatophores. Fifth pelvic fin ray short (70-75% of fourth) with only a single branch point; predorsal scales 12-15; ctenoid body scales, cycloid on pectoral fin base and breast; absence of scales on cheek and opercle of adult; absence of pelvic frenum; posterior nasal opening with raised rim, separate from anterior margin of eye; cheek with two horizontal rows of papillae; depth of body 4.0 in SL.


Species of the genus Priolepis form monogamous pairs, and are capable of bidirectional sex change. In laboratory experiments with female-female pairs, the larger individual changed sex to male, and in male-male pairs, the smaller changed to female. The gonads of these species simultaneously formed ovarian and testicular portions with an accessory gonadal structure (Manabe et al. 2013). 


The specific name is from the Greek agrenon (= a net) in reference to the mesh-like pattern produced by the pigmented margins of the scale pockets.

Species Citation

Priolepis agrena Winterbottom & Burridge 1993, Canadian Journal of Zoology 71: 2057, figs 1-3. Type locality: West side of Sumilon Island, 0.75 km northeast of sand spit at southwestern tip, 9°26'12"N, 123°23'06"E, Philippines, depth 15-26 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Network Reefgoby, Priolepis agrena Winterbottom & Burridge 1993


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

Manabe, H., Toyoda, K., Nagamoto, K., Dewa S.I., et al. 2013. Bidirectional sex change in seven species of Priolepis (Actinopterygii: Gobiidae). Bulletin of Marine Science 89(2): 635-642.

Winterbottom, R. & Burridge,  M.1993. Revision of Indo-Pacific Priolepis species possessing a reduced transverse pattern of cheek papillae, and predorsal scales (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 71: 2056-2076.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428397


Depth:11-29 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:2.5 cm SL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map