Smiling Goby (species: Mahidolia mystacina) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Mahidolia mystacina
Smiling Goby

©Lyle Vail: Mahidolia mystacina, NE coast of Lizard Island, 24 metres depth

©Anne Hoggett: Mahidolia mystacina, NE coast of Lizard Island, 24 metres depth, shrimp antennae visible on left side of photo
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Gobiidae
Genus Mahidolia
Species Mahidolia mystacina



Distinguishing features

Grey to yellowish with broad diagonal darker brown bands on body, small orange spots on head, first dorsal fin flag-like, sometimes tall and pointed, usually with some black patches on posterior margin.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



Colouration and shape of the flag-like first dorsal fin is variable (Allen and Erdmann, 2012). Thacker et al (2011) found evidence suggesting there may be cryptic species within the current understanding of Mahidolia mystacina at Kimbe Bay, PNG.

by Anne Hoggett


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen and M.V. Erdmann, G.R. (2012). Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III in: Reef fishes of the East Indies. Tropical Reef Research, Perth, Australia. LIRS catalog number 90162.
  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Other references

  • Thacker, C.E., A.R. Thompson and D.M. Roje (2011). Phylogeny and evolution of Indo-Pacific shrimp-associated gobies (Gobiiformes: Gobiidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 59: 168-176. LIRS catalog number 1507.