Pretty Lagoon Goby (species: Oplopomus oplopomus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Oplopomus oplopomus
Pretty Lagoon Goby

©Anne Hoggett: Oplopomus oplopomus in the lagoon entrance channel, Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Oplopomus oplopomus about 7 cm long near the seawater inlet lines for Lizard Island Research Station, Casuarina Beach.

©Lyle Vail: Oplopomus oplopomus in the Lizard Island lagoon. Orange streak on the tail is a distinctive field character.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Gobiidae
Genus Oplopomus
Species Oplopomus oplopomus



Distinguishing features

A small pale goby, well-camouflaged on sand. Males have a large dark spot on the first dorsal fin. Females have brown and blue/white spots with a row of dark dashes along sides separated by white spots. Both sexes have an orange/brown streak on the tail that is distinctive in the field.


  • Up to 7.5 cm (length according to Allen et al, 2003)

Depth range

  • From 0 m to 10 m



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Common in the lagoon on sand away from reefs to at least 10 metres depth.


These gobies usually excavate their own burrows and are only occasionally found with alpheid shrimps at Lizard Island (Syms and Jones, 2004).

Web resources


  • Caley, M.J. (1995). Reef fish community structure and dynamics: in interaction between local and larger-scale processes? Marine Ecology Progress Series, 129: 19-29. LIRS catalog number 448.
  • Syms, C. and G.P. Jones (2004). Habitat structure, disturbance and the composition of sand-dwelling goby assemblages in a coral reef lagoon, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 268: 221-230. LIRS catalog number 881.