Antilligobius nikkiae

Common Name

Saber Goby

Year Described

Van Tassell, Tornabene & Colin, 2012


Dorsal Fin: VII; I, 11-12
Anal Fin: I, 11-13
Pectoral Fin: 18-21
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Gill Rakers: 5+12-13
Lateral Scales: 21-28
Vertebrae: 11 precaudal, 16 caudal; 27 total

Body elongate. Eye large. Mouth large and slightly upturned. Dorsal spines highly elongate in both sexes, reaching to the caudal fin in some specimens. Caudal fin asymmetric with elongate middle rays and a distinct notch corresponding to rays 3-5. Cheek, predorsal, pelvic, and pectoral base with cycloid scales. Rest of body with ctenoid scales.


Body pale whitish, gray, or yellowish basally. A bright yellow stripe runs from the rear of the eye, along the lower flank, to the tail where it tapers to a point on the caudal fin itself. There is a varying degree of orange pigment around the opecular and jaw region of the stripe. Another pink to magenta stripe borders the lower edge of the yellow stripe but fades posterior to the pectoral fin. A blue to purplish-blue stripe runs from the snout along the dorsal midline to the caudal fin base, fading posteriorly. The eye is blue to purple with a yellowish median stripe. The first dorsal fin is yellowish, especially along the spines. The second dorsal and anal fins have a yellow stripe bordered by bluish pigment above and below. There are two yellow stripes on the caudal fin and two additional faint ones on the upper and lower edges. The pectoral and pelvic fins are clear.


Adults range from 20-32mm SL.


Deep reef slopes from 85-200m. Found most often around near vertical drop-offs, calcareous walls, and deep reef edges associated with relict glacial plateaus. Forms small to large aggregations and is an open water plankton-picker.


Scattered records in the Caribbean Sea: the Bahamas, Cuba, E. Yucatan, Belize, Puerto Rico, and Curacao.


Van Tassell, J. L. , L. Thornabene and P. L. Colin. 2012. Review of the western Atlantic species of Bollmania (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Gobiosomatini) with the description of a new allied genus and species. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology v. 18 (no. 2): 61-94.