Content Highlights – Gobius kolombatovici from the family Gobiidae known as “gobies”

Did you know that gobies from the family Gobiidae are one of the largest families of fish, with more than 2,000 species in more than 200 genera? We would like to introduce you to one member of that species: Gobius kolombatovici.

Gobius kolombatovici is a very colorful and remarkable species, but even so, was discovered only recently (in 2000) by Kovačić and Miller in the northern part of the Adriatic Sea, in Kvarner Gulf. For seven years this species was considered to be endemic to Kvarner Gulf, but in 2007 it was also discovered by Francour and Mangialajo near the south coast of France. The last records about a new occurrence of G. kolombatovici are from the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas. Apparently this species is rather common in the Mediterranean Sea. Its late discovery could be caused by water depth in which it lives, between 15 – 90 m, and by its timid nature - it hides very quickly when spotting a diver.

This species is rarely represented in collections. Displayed specimens are from the Adriatic Sea, close to Krk Island and are stored in the collections of the National Museum in Prague.

As we mentioned, gobies is a very abundant family of fish. The species are mostly smaller than 10 cm in length, some even less than 1 cm long when fully grown, which classify these species among the smallest vertebrates in the world. The largest gobies can reach over 30 cm in length, but that is exceptional. Gobies are not commonly served in fish restaurants, but they are an important prey species for fish like cod or haddock. Some gobies, like bumblebee gobies are also of interest as aquarium fish.

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith