Many-host Ghost Goby (species: Pleurosicya mossambica) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Pleurosicya mossambica
Many-host Ghost Goby

©Rick Stuart-Smith: Pleurosicya mossambica on Porites coral, Lizard Island area.

©Rick Stuart-Smith: Pleurosicya mossambica, Lizard Island area.

©Lyle Vail: Pleurosicya mossambica (tentative id) on a holothurian off Lizard Head, Lizard Island, away from base of reef slope in about 21 metres depth.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Gobiidae
Genus Pleurosicya
Species Pleurosicya mossambica



Distinguishing features

Highly variable in colour, found on a variety of organisms. Nape scaled, a dark blotch on base of first dorsal fin (Larson, 1990). Allan and Erdmann (2012) do not mention a dark blotch.


  • Up to 2.5 cm (length according to Allen and Erdmann (2012).)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



Allen and Erdmann (2012) note that this species is highly variable in colour and associates with a wide variety of organisms.

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.
  • Larson, H.K. (1990). A revision of the commensal gobiid fish genera Pleurosicya and Luposicya (Gobiidae), with descriptions of eight new species of Pleurosicya and discussion of related genera. The Beagle, Records of the Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences, 7(1): 1-53. LIRS catalog number LIRS 337.

Other references

  • Leis, J.M., B.M. Carson-Ewart and J. Webley (2002). Settlement behaviour of coral-reef fish larvae at subsurface artificial-reef moorings, Marine and Freshwater Research, 53: 319-327. LIRS catalog number 720.