19 Fin-tastic Facts About The Goby For Kids

Goby facts talk about these fishes belonging to order Perciformes.

Goby is the largest fish family in the marine world. These noticeably smaller fish are found in abundance in different parts of the world. There are 212 recorded genera and 1875 species recognized under this family belonging to the order Perciformes.

They have small, slender bodies, along with smaller heads and fins. The vast number of fishes in this family may easily help us conclude that they have different behavioral patterns. For example, one such pattern is that they are both seen in pairs and small social groups. These fishes are adaptive to a vast number of habitats. Thus, it can be found in freshwater, saltwater, brackish, subarctic streams, mountain streams, coral reefs, even in tide pools, mangrove swamps, mudflats. Their abundance has made the microhabitats inaccessible to other fish.

Are you interested in learning more about the interesting life of such marine animals? Then don't forget to read about the neon goby facts and round goby facts.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Crabs, copepods, amphipods, shrimps, ostracods, mollusks, polychaetes, annelids, foraminiferans, sponges, eggs of invertebrates, and fishes

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.2-2.8 oz (5.7-79.8 g)

How long are they?

0.4-13.8 in (1-35 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Various color

Skin Type

Slimy scales

What are their main threats?

Rock bass, smallmouth, yellow perch, walleye, brown trout

What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Freshwater, saltwater, brackish, subarctic streams, mountain streams, coral reefs, tide pools, mangrove swamps, mudflats


Indo-Pacific, southern Siberia, Black sea, Caspian Seas, North America, Korea, Japan, China, California





Scientific Name

Varies according to genus




More than 200 genera, including Didogobius and Arenogobius

Goby Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a goby?

Goby is one of the world's largest small-sized marine fish family.

What class of animal does a goby belong to?

Gobies belong to the Actinopterygii class and the order Perciformes of the animal kingdom.

How many gobies are there in the world?

Although the exact number of goby fish is not known, the largest marine fish species has 212 recorded genera and 1875 species worldwide.

Where does a goby live?

These fishes can be found all across the world. Their abundance is noticeable in the Indo-Pacific region. However, gobies are also found in the subarctic stream of Southern Siberia. Yet, gobies haven't stayed limited to their natural habitat. Due to various reasons, they got transported and now can be found in the Black sea, Caspian Seas, North America. Gobies native to Japan, Korea, and China have created an abundance in California.

What is a goby's habitat?

Gobies can be found in freshwater, saltwater, brackish, all across the world. But that's not about it. They are abundantly found in subarctic streams, mountain streams, coral reefs. Their population in such habitat has increased so much that they have almost made these microhabitats inaccessible to other fish groups.

Who do gobies live with?

There are so many variant types of fishes belonging to this marine fish family that it is no wonder that there isn't only one distinguished living pattern that can be observed. Gobies can be seen both in pairs and in small social groups.

How long does a goby live?

All the species of the goby family have varying longevity. These fish can live a long life that can vary from 1 - 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season in gobies occurs during spring and summer. Adult goby males with a moderate size are either territorial or sneaky. During the breeding season, males mark territory around their chosen nest. Their most preferable nest-building habitat consists of holes in rocks, even old shoes. After the spawning, females lay eggs on the underside of the nests. After that, males take up the responsibility of looking after the eggs until they hatch.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the goby is Not Listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. However, there are different types of gobies that have some form of conservation threat looming over them.

Goby Fun Facts

What do gobies look like?

Gobies are among the smaller fishes in the oceans. A distinctive physical feature among freshwater gobies is their pelvic fins that form a sucking disc. On the other hand, some gobies have separated pelvic fins. While some gobies have prominent heads, others have blunt heads. Most gobies have permanent coloration and are sexually monomorphic. However, in some gobies, sexual dichromatism has also been observed.

Goby fish facts for kids talk about the largest marine fish family.

How cute are they?

Cuteness can be a very subjective matter. It becomes even more difficult to define cuteness while dealing with not one species but a complete family of fish that has the most number of recorded species. But it can be said that fishes under this family mostly look very adorable.

How do they communicate?

Communication in gobies is mostly tactual. It is mostly observed in a goby-shrimp symbiosis. Gobies flick their tails to send a danger warning. They do not send these signals in the absence of the shrimps.

How big is a goby?

Gobies are small fish that can grow up to 0.4-13.8 in (1-35 cm) long. The smallest gobies, called the dwarf pygmy goby, only grow up to 0.43 in (1.1 cm). In comparison, it is almost 20 times smaller than the smaller redbreast sunfish specimens.

How fast can a goby swim?

The average speed of this fish species is varied.

How much does a goby weigh?

The average weight of this small marine fish species falls between 0.2-2.8 oz (5.7-79.8 g). Tang fishes are usually 10 times heavier than most fishes of this family.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female gobies do not have any specific names. Thus, both counterparts are called goby fish.

What would you call a baby goby?

A baby goby would simply be known as fry.

What do they eat?

Gobies are omnivores, instead of being simply carnivores. They feed upon crabs, copepods, amphipods, shrimps, ostracods, mollusks, polychaetes, annelids, foraminiferans, sponges, eggs of invertebrates and fishes, small fishes. They also feed upon algae.

Are they poisonous?

Although most of the fish in this family is non-poisonous, some poisonous species of gobies have also been reported.

Would they make a good pet?

The majority of the gobies make ideal pets. These fish are very peaceful and thus can be easily put in aquariums.

Did you know...

After birth, the goby larvae travel to the brackish and marine water through the river current. However, they again return to their native habitat after a few weeks or a couple of months.

The name 'goby' is derived from the Latin term 'gobius', which means 'some kind of small fish'.

Different types of goby

Violet goby facts: also known as dragon goby, these fish have a long and slender body. These fish look almost like an eel. Their anal and dorsal fins are spread across their body. They use their sharp teeth mostly for feeding.

Round goby facts: the most distinguished feature of them is their single pelvic fin that looks like a scallop. They also have thick lips and large eyes.

Bumblebee goby facts: these gobies are known for their iconic goby shape. A small head, slender body are among the most noticeable feature.

Freshwater goby facts: they have a straw-colored body that is slender and elongated. They also have square-shaped blotches on their body.

Mandarin goby facts: these scaleless fish are small and elongated, with a broadhead. They are extremely vibrant and have patterns on their body.

Do gobies bite?

Biting is a very common phenomenon among gobies. This is also why fishers use the angling method to capture them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these clown rasbora facts or pigfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable tropical fish coloring pages.



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