Bathygobius soporator

Super Group: 
Valenciennes 1837
Gobius soporator (Valenciennes, 1837)
Gobius humeralis (Duméril, 1861)
Mapo soporator (Valenciennes, 1837)


Diagnosis_Genus: Bathygobius Bleeker 1878.
Bathygobius are characterized by a shallow groove laterally on the head, from slightly below the posterior nostril descending to upper lip, where the groove runs posteroventally towards the corner of the mouth, and then runs horizontally rearwards across the lower part of the cheek. Longitudinal neuromast row c is positioned in the horizontal portion of the groove on the cheek (fig. 41.1A). Lateralpreorbital area with small protuberance over upper lip near corner of mouth, a small mental flap ventrally on head at dentary symphysis, but no mental barbels present (cf. Nematogobius). The preorbital protuberance and mental flap may be indistinct in small specimens. Outer (dorsal) rays of the pectoral fin partially free from fin membrane. Body elongate, subcylindrical and compressed posteriorly. Head depressed, length 25-33% SL. In Lower Guinea species, the tubular rim of the anterior nostril lacks fleshy processes (cf.
Nematogobius and Mauligobius). Mouth slightly oblique, its angle located below eye. About six rows of caniniform teeth in jaws, enlarged in outer row of upper jaw; outer and innermost rows of lower jaw teeth larger than those in intervening rows. Inner surface of gill opening without fleshy swellings. Laterosensory canals present on head; oculoscapular canal extending from between anterior and posterior nostrils to posterior margin of opercle, incorporating pores B, C (single), D (single), E, F, G, H, K and L (H and K sometimes contiguous). Suborbital neuromasts arranged in a “longitudinal” pattern (fig. 41.1A). Predorsal cycloid scales extending anteriorly to level of preopercle or beyond, opercle and cheek naked in species from Lower Guinea, body scales ctenoid. Pelvics forming a suctoral disk, free from abdomen except at base of rays. Caudal fin rounded. About 28 species have been described in this genus, two of which are represented in fresh and brackish waters of Lower Guinea.

Diagnosis_Species: Gobius soporator Cuvier & Valenciennes 1837. Nous lui donnons cette épithète parce que c'est celle qu'il porte à la Martinique, d'où il nous a ëtë envoyé par M. Achard. Les Espagnols de la Havanne, où il se trouve aussi, le connaissent sous le nom de mapo, qu'ils donnent encore à d'autres gobies. Sa tête a le quart de la longueur totale, et elle est d'un quart moins haute et moins large que longue. Ses yeux , placés au quart antérieur, ont le sixième de la longueur de la tête en diamètre, et sont distans d'un diamètre et demi. En avant d'eux le profil tombe rapidement, en sorte que le museau est extrêmement obtus. Ses deux mâchoires sont presque égales à sa bouche, à peu près horizontale, n'est fendue que jusque sous le miUeu de l'oeil ; ses dents de la rangée antérieure dépassent peu les autres. Sa première dorsale ne s'élève pas plus que la seconde, dont le dernier rayon, ainsi que celui de l'anale, s'alonge un peu en pointe. Sa caudale, arrondie, a le sixième de la longueur, et c'est aussi à peu près la dimension des pectorales et de la ventrale. Malgré ses rapports avec nos grandes espèces d'Europe, les rayons de sa seconde dorsale et de son anale sont bien moins nombreux. D. 6 — 1/9; A. 1/8 ; le dernier double; C. 15; P. 15 et 5 effilés; V. 1/5. Tout ce poisson est d'un brun de bistre foncé, et en dessous d'un gris brunâtre. Ses nageoires sont brunes; les dorsales ont des taches nuageuses plus foncées; l'anale en a aussi , mais à sa partie inférieure ; sa base est blanchâtre; sur la caudale ce sont des traits régulièrement disposés en travers des rayons. Nos individus sont longs de quatre pouces.

Predorsal scales extendinganteriorly beyond level of preopercle, towards rear edge of orbit, with anterior margin of scaled area convex in dorsal view. 16-27 (usually 18-24) predorsal scales, 33-40 (usually 36 or 37) scales in a longitudinal series (including the 3-5 scales on caudal fin base),12-14 (usually 13) scales in rearward transverse series. First dorsal fin VI,second dorsal fin I, 8-9, anal fin I, 7-9 (usually 8), pectoral fins 18-21 (usually19-20), the 4-5 outer (dorsal) ones free.Caudal fin 14-15 branched rays.

Body_larvae_length: 1.9-5.1 mm
Body_juvenile_length: 5.8-17.6 mm
Body_adult_length: 7.5 cm (Robins & Ray 1986)
Body_egg_length: 0.45mm
Sequence_DNA: PR1186, TEX10a (Tornabene et al. 2010)


Bathygobius: Greek, bathys = deep + Latin, gobius = gudgeon

Type species

The type species for the genus bathygobius is Gobius nebulopunctatus (Bleeker, 1878)

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: Martinique Island, West Indies
Holotype: 103 mm SL, Bermuda


Habitat: oceanic
Habitat: Brackish
Habitat: Salt water
Habitat: Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Angola and offshore islands. Western Atlantic: Florida Keys in the USA, Bermuda and the Bahamas to Santa Catarina, Brazil. Mediterranean Sea. Suspected to be conspecific with Bathygobius fuscus. Record from Algeria needs confirmation.
Temperature: 16°C to 36°C
Temperature_reproduction: 27-29°C
Depth: Epipelagic (0 - 16 m)
pH: 7.6
Oxygen_level: Oxic
Migratory: No

Life cycle

Longevity: Lifespan is dependent on their accessibility to food and favourable environmental conditions.They are fairly cautious, choosing homes where they can inhabit and reproduce securely (Tavolga, 1950).
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite (Kong & Chen 2013)
Fecundity_number_of_eggs_per_adult: 5462 (Eyo et al. 2013)
Fertility_period: Seasonal (In Florida, spawning occurs in July and August (Miller and Smith 1989).)
Fertility_period: Annual (In the southern part of its Western Atlantic distribution, spawning occurs throughout the year, with peaks in November, January, March, May and July.)
Spawning_method: Fertilization in the female. (Following internal fertilization, the female goby lays eggs on a sheltered hard surface, commonly the interior of empty conch shells (Tavolga 1958a). Presumably, as with other gobiid species, the male fertilizes eggs of several females. Each mate lays her eggs in the same location to form one large cluster of 800 to 1,000 eggs (Tavolga 1958a) comprised of a few to several clutches. This egg cluster is protected by the parental male until hatching occurs. Unlike non-breeding males and females, parental males are fiercely territorial, chasing intruders and never venturing more than a few feet from the nest (Tavolga 1958a).)

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming

Original description


Observation site(s)


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Amyloodinium ocellatum Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

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