Striped Sandgoby, Acentrogobius pflaumii (Bleeker 1853)

Other Names: Asian Goby, Streaked Goby

A Striped Sandgoby, Acentrogobius pflaumii, at Bicton, Swan River, Western Australia, November 2004. Source: Mark Maddern / FishBase. License: All rights reserved


A greenish-brown goby becoming paler below, with fine dark stripes and pale bluish spots along the side, and five dark rectangular blotches along the lower side.

This goby, a native of Japan, China and Korea, was accidentally introduced to Australia and New Zealand as larvae or juveniles in the ballast water of ships. To prevent further introductions, ships heading to Australia must now release their ballast water far offshore.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Acentrogobius pflaumii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Striped Sandgoby, Acentrogobius pflaumii (Bleeker 1853)

More Info


Native to Japan, China and Korea, inhabiting sandy and silty areas in sheltered bays, harbours and estuaries to 15 m. Accidentally introduced to Australia and New Zealand when juveniles or larvae were transported in ballast water in ships and the water was released in ports of call.

Following its initial discovery in Port Melbourne, Port Phillip Bay in 1997, the species was subsequently found to be widespread in the highly disturbed silty areas, including Port Melbourne and Corio Bay. The species has also been found in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay (New South Wales), and the Swan River estuary, Cockburn Sound, and Rockingham, southwestern Australia.

Inhabits sandy and silty/sand areas in bays and estuaries, sometimes sharing burrows with alpheid shrimps. The species is often very common in silty areas of Port Phillip Bay, although population numbers fluctuate greatly.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 10; Anal fin I, 10; Pectoral fin 16-18; Pelvic fin I, 5; Caudal fin (segmented rays) 17.

Body slender, head compressed, oval in cross-section, eyes large, close together on top of head; mouth small, terminal;  gill opening restricted to pectoral-fin base; head scaled forward to above the gill cover.


To 12 cm.


Overall brownish, with short, dark, dash-like markings just below the midsides, a black mark just below the middle of the gill cover, and a thin stripe on lower surface of head.


The species is named in honour of Dr. A. K. J. L. W. Pflaum, who provided Bleeker with a 'new collection of Japanese fish from the bay of Nagasaki'.

Species Citation

  • Gobius pflaumii Bleeker, 1853, Verhand. Bataviaasch Genootsch. Kunst. Wetensch. 25: 42, fig. 3. Type locality:  Nagasaki, in the sea.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Striped Sandgoby, Acentrogobius pflaumii (Bleeker 1853)


  • Akihito, Sakamoto, K., Ikeda, Y. & Sugiyama, K. 2002. Gobioidei. pp.1139-1310, 1596-1619 in Nakabo, T. (ed.) Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species. English edition. Tokyo : Toikai University Press pp. 867-1749.
  • Baeck, G.W., Kim, J.W. & Huh, S. 2004. Maturation and spawning of striped goby (Acentrogobius pflaumi) (Teleostei: Gobiidae) collected in the Gwangyang Bay, Korea. Journal of the Korean Fisheries Society 37: 226-231,
  • Bleeker, P. 1853. Nalezingen op de ichthyologie van Japan. Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen 25: 1-56 pls 6-10 See ref at BHL
  • Bleeker, P. 1879. Énumération des espèces de poissons actuellement connues du Japon et description de trois espèces inédites. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen 18: 1-33 pls 1-3
  • Currie, D.R., McArthur, M.A. & Cohen, B.F. 1998. Exotic marine pests in the Port of Geelong, Victoria, Report No. 8. Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia: Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute.
  • Francis, M.P., Walsh, C., Morrison, M.A. & Middleton, C. 2003. Invasion of the Asian goby, Acentrogobius pflaumii, into New Zealand, with new locality records of the introduced bridled goby, Arenigobius bifrenatus. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37: 105-112,
  • Hewitt, C.L., Campbell, M.L., Thresher, R.W., Martin, R.B., et. al. 2004. Introduced and cryptogenic species in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia. Marine Biology 144: 183-202,
  • Hoese, D.F. 2015. Family Gobiidae. pp. 1573-1582 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.
  • Hoese, D.F. & Larson, H.K. 2008. Family Gobiidae. pp. 749-773 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.
  • Hogan-West, K., Tweedley, J.R., Coulson, P.G., Poh, B. & Loneragan, N.R. 2019. Abundance and distribution of the non-indigenous Acentrogobius pflaumii and native gobiids in a temperate Australian estuary. Estuaries and Coasts 42(6): 1612-1631,
  • Larson, H.K. 2011. The marine temperate gobioids of southern Australia and the New Zealand region. Ch. 2.4, pp. 235-241 in Patzner, R.A., Van Tassell, J.L., Kovačić, M. & Kapoor, B.G. (eds) 2011. The Biology of Gobies. Enfield, New Hampshire : Science Publishers 685 pp.
  • Lintermans, M. 2004. Human‐assisted dispersal of alien freshwater fish in Australia. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 38(3: 481-501,
  • Lockett, M.M. & Gomon, M.F. 2001. Ship mediated fish invasions in Australia: two new introductions and a consideration of two previous invasions. Biological Invasions 3: 187-192
  • Maddern, M.G. & Morrison, S. 2009. Introduction of the Streaked Goby Acentrogobius pflaumii (Bleeker 1853) (Pisces: Gobiidae) into southwestern Australia. Australian Zoologist 35 (1): 96-99.
  • Mead-Hunter D, 2004. Another introduced fish species for Western Australian waters. The Western Australian Naturalist 24(3): 204. See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37428361

Depth:1-15 m

Habitat:Inshore silty/sandy areas

Max Size:12 cm


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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map