Ornate Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia ornatissima Smith 1959

Other Names: Ocellate Goby, Ocellated Goby
Allen & Erdmann (2012) & Allen et. al (2019) suggested that Vanderhorstia ornatissima is confined to the western Indian Ocean. 
However, material from Western Australia (Beacon Island, 28°28'S to North West Cape, 21°57'S), Ashmore Reef (Timor Sea) and Cocos (Keeling) Islands is closest to V. ornatissima. Records from eastern Australia have been based on other species of uncertain identity (Hoese 2018 Australian Faunal Directory).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Vanderhorstia ornatissima in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/5485

Ornate Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia ornatissima Smith 1959

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos to North West Cape, Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits shallow sandy, seagrass and silty/rubble areas on protected coral reefs.

Species Citation

Vanderhorstia ornatissima Smith 1959, Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 13: 192, pl. 10C. Type locality: Pinda, Mozambique. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Ornate Shrimpgoby, Vanderhorstia ornatissima Smith 1959


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. & Mongdong, M.U. 2019. Vanderhorstia dawnarnallae, a new species of shrimpgoby (Pisces: Gobiidae) from West Papua, Indonesia. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 33: 89–98. doi: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3519384 open access

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Larson, H. 2016. Vanderhorstia ornatissima . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T193209A2209229. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T193209A2209229.en. Downloaded on 07 January 2020.

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 

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. 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. 

Smith, J.L.B. 1959. Gobioid fishes of the families Gobiidae, Periophthalmidae, Trypauchenidae, Taenioididae and Kraemeriidae of the western Indian Ocean. Ichthyological Bulletin, Department of Ichthyology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 13: 185-225 figs 1-42 pls 9-13 http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1018774, open access

Syms, C. & Jones, G.P. 2004. Habitat structure, disturbance and the composition of sand-dwelling goby assemblages in a coral reef lagoon, Marine Ecology Progress Series 268: 221-230 doi:10.3354/meps268221, open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428291

Behaviour:Shares burrows with alpheid shrimps

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-22 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (rare)

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy/seagrass/rubble areas

Max Size:9 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map