Butterfly Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia papilio Shibukawa & Suzuki 2004

A male Butterfly Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia papilio, in the Low Isles, near Port Douglas, Queensland, depth 14m, out from base of outer reef edge in sandy rubble. Source: Sue Churchill & Rogan Draper. License: All rights reserved

A shrimpgoby with small yellow spots scattered on the cheek, gill cover, nape, body, and dorsal fins, a dusky yellowish-brown bar below the eye; 4 dark greyish-brown saddles on the body, and a large brown blotch on the middle of the caudal-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Vanderhorstia papilio in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 May 2021,

Butterfly Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia papilio Shibukawa & Suzuki 2004

More Info


Low Isles, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical north-west Pacific. Shares burrows with alpheid shrimps on rubble slopes adjacent to coral reefs in depths of 8-65 m.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 11; Anal fin I, 11; Scales in longitudinal series 27; Predorsal scales 11. 
Third dorsal-fin spine elongate, filamentous, longer than other spines; fifth and ninth branched caudal-fin rays elongate, filamentous, forming bifurcate caudal fin, each with a single branch; cephalic sensory-papillae row 'a' with 3 widely spaced papillae.


The specific name papilio is from the Latin 'papilio' meaning butterfly, in reference to the elongate, filamentous fifth and ninth branched caudal-fin rays (like the 'tails' of the swallowtail butterfly);.

Species Citation

Vanderhorstia papilio Shibukawa & Suzuki  2004, Ichthyological Research 51(2): 114, figs. 1-2. Type locality: Funauki Bay, Iriomote-jima Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan [24°20.0'N, 123°42.8'E].


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Butterfly Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia papilio Shibukawa & Suzuki 2004


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

Shibukawa, K. & Suzuki, T. 2004. Vanderhorstia papilio, a new shrimp-associated goby from the Ryukyu Islands, Japan (Perciformes: Gobiidae: Gobiinae), with comments on the limits of the genus. Ichthyological Research 51: 113-119.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428476

Behaviour:Shares burrows with alpheid shrimps

Depth:8-65 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy/rubble areas

Max Size:4 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map