Curious Wormfish, Gunnellichthys curiosus Dawson 1968

Other Names: Neon Worm-goby, Yellow Striped Worm Eel

A Curious Wormfish, Gunnellichthys curiosus, in Bali, Indonesia. Source: Andrey Ryanskiy / Fishbase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A wormfish with a broad orange stripe along the side of the head and body ending in a large black blotch on the tail base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2016, Gunnellichthys curiosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 22 Jun 2024,

Curious Wormfish, Gunnellichthys curiosus Dawson 1968

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits silty, sandy and rubble slopes, diving into burrows when threatened.


Feeds in benthic and pelagic crustaceans - pairs search for food rather than hovering in the water column.

Species Citation

Gunnellichthys curiosus Dawson 1968, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 81(8): 54, figs 1-4. Type locality: Laraie Bay, Curieuse Island, Seychelles.


Bray, D.J. 2016


Australian Faunal Directory

Curious Wormfish, Gunnellichthys curiosus Dawson 1968


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

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

Dawson, C.E. 1968. Two new wormfishes (Gobioidea : Microdesmidae) from the Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 81(8): 53-68 figs 1-5 

Greenfield, D. & Munroe, T.A. 2016. Gunnellichthys curiosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T69128053A69130368. Downloaded on 18 November 2016.

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

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. 

Oxley, W.G., Emslie, M., Muir, P. & Thompson, A.A. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve, March 2004. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science i-vii, 1-67 pp. 

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37435003


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-60 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map