Elacatinus lobeli

Common Name

Lobel's Cleaner Goby

Year Described

Randall & Colin, 2009


Dorsal Fin: VII, I, 10-12 (usually 11)
Anal Fin: I, 10-11 (usually 10)
Pectoral Fin: 15-17 (usually 16)
Caudal Fin: 10-12 branched, 9-10 upper and lower procurrent
Gill Rakers: 1, 7
Vertebrae: 28

Mouth ventral with overhanging snout. Pelvic fins fully united into circular disk. Body scaleless.


Body stripe is bright electric blue and begins anterior to orbit. Posterior to opercular opening, a gray stripe borders the blue one dorsally. No snout marking. There are two black stripes bordering the blue and gray stripe dorsally and ventrally. Stripes taper off on caudal fin. Back is dark gray. Belly is pale gray. Cheek is often pinkish. Fins translucent.


Maximum size to 31mm SL.


Coral reefs from 0-17m. Perches on coral heads. It engages in cleaning behavior.


Known from the Belize barrier system (Pelican Cays) and off Honduras (Bay Islands).


Randall, J. E. & P. L. Colin. 2009. Elacatinus lobeli, a new cleaning goby from Belize and Honduras. Zootaxa No. 2173: 31-40.

Other Notes

Most closely related to Elacatinus oceanops, which has an all blue lateral stripe, more branched caudal rays (12-14), 17 pectoral rays, and reaches a larger size. The two species are not sympatric in distribution.