Elacatinus evelynae

Common Name

Sharknose Goby

Year Described

Böhlke & Robins, 1968


Dorsal Fin: VII, 11-13 (usually 12)
Anal Fin: 11-13
Pectoral Fin: 15-18 (usually 16-17)
Caudal Fin:
Gill Rakers: 9 (total)
Vertebrae: 28

Mouth ventral with overhanging snout. Body scaleless. Pelvic fins fused to form a sucking disk.


Body stripe yellow anteriorly, grading to silvery or pale blue rearward. Extend of yellow versus blue is variable (see notes below). Stripe comes together on snout as a V-shaped marking. Light stripe is bordered below and above by black stripes. All stripes run onto and taper on caudal fin. Belly whitish, with scattered melanophores bordering black stripe. Fins transparent with fine peppering.


Maximum size to 29mm SL.


Found perched on coral heads on reefs. Engages in cleaning behavior.


Caribbean Sea: the Bahamas, the Antilles, and islands in the southern and western Caribbean.


Böhlke, J. E. and C. R. Robins. 1968. Western Atlantic seven-spined gobies, with descriptions of ten new species and a new genus, and comments on Pacific relatives. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia v. 120: 45-174.

Other Notes

This species is variable in color pattern, with white morphs, yellow morphs, and blue morphs. The anterior part of the pale stripe is almost always yellow, but the rear part varies. There is genetic evidence that the all-yellow or all-white populations are separate species. The type material is the yellow/white striped fish from the Bahamas, but there are also yellow/blue fish from the same area. The taxonomic status of the other populations remains to be studied.