Crab-eye Goby, Signigobius biocellatus Hoese & Allen 1977

Other Names: Crab-eyed Goby, Four-eyed Goby, Signal Goby, Twinspot Goby, Twin-spot Goby

A Crab-eye Goby, Signigobius biocellatus, on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr: Pacific Klaus. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A very distinctive goby with a conspicuous dark ocellus on each dorsal fin, and large dark blue-spotted pelvic and anal fins.
Fantastic video of a pair of Crab-eye Gobies.
Video of a Crab-eye Goby upclose.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Signigobius biocellatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Crab-eye Goby, Signigobius biocellatus Hoese & Allen 1977

More Info


Known in Australian waters from Scott Reef to Ashmore Reef, Western Australia, and from Tijou Reef to off Townsville, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Found elsewhere in the tropical, west-central Pacific.

Inhabits sandy, silty or rubble bottoms around coral in lagoons and coastal bays. Individuals or pairs build burrows in the substrate.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin VII, 10-11; Anal fin I, 10 - 11.


Feeds by sifting small interstitial invertebrates from mouthfuls of sand.


Forms monogamous pairs.


Signigobius is from the Latin signus meaning 'mark' and gobius a fish genus. The species name biocellatus is from the Latin bi meaning 'two' and ocellatus meaning 'small eye spots' in reference to the prominent ocelli on the dorsal fins. 

Species Citation

Signigobius biocellatus Hoese & Allen, 1977, Japan. J. Ichthyol. 23(4): 200, figs 1-3, 4A, 5A. Type locality: Linnet Reef, Queenslaand. 


Dianne J. Bray

Crab-eye Goby, Signigobius biocellatus Hoese & Allen 1977


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91.

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

Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research, Perth Australia.

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp.

Hoese, D.F. & Allen, G.R. 1977. Signigobius biocellatus, a new genus and species of sand-dwelling coral reef gobiid fish from the western tropical Pacific. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 23(4): 199-207 figs 1-5

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

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., 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:37428249

Behaviour:Construct burrows

Depth:1-30 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sand, silt & rubble areas

Max Size:10 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map