Elacatinus genie

Common Name

Cleaner Goby

Year Described

Böhlke & Robins, 1968


Dorsal Fin: VII, 11-12 (usually 12)
Anal Fin: 11-12 (usually 11)
Pectoral Fin: 16-18
Caudal Fin:
Gill Rakers: 7-8 (total)
Vertebrae: 28

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


Body stripe yellow anteriorly, tapering posteriorly into a broad pearly white body stripe. Eye stripes fuse on the snout to form a V-shaped yellow marking. Dark stripes border the pale stripe dorsally and ventrally. Belly pale. Fins transparent with a fine peppering of melanophores.


Maximum size to 36mm SL.


Perches on coral heads on reefs from 1-30m. Engages in cleaning behavior.


Caribbean Sea: the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.


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

The close relative Elacatinus evelynae has a snout marking that is much thicker and rounded at the apex, while E. genie has a thin “V” with a sharp apex. Elacatinus genie is always white with yellow anteriorly, while E. evelynae is more variable. The other Caribbean gobies with ventral mouth are E. lobeli and E. oceanops, which have a blue stripe.