Lythrypnus crocodilus

Common Name

Crocodile Goby

Year Described

Beebe & Tee-Van, 1928


Dorsal Fin: VI, 9-10
Anal Fin: 9
Pectoral Fin: 15-16
Caudal Fin: 17
Lateral Line Scales: 28
Gill Rakers: 5-7 (first arch)
Vertebrae: 9+17 = 26 (total)

Body elongate and tapering to the rear. No lateral pores on head. Jaws with bands of teeth (conical teeth inward and sharp canines outside) but vomer and palatine without teeth. Anterior nostril tubular. Posterior nostril slightly raised and separated from anterior nostril. No frenum on upper lip. Tongue narrowly rounded at tip. Gill opening extends to ventral part of opercular flap. Head, chest, nape, and pectoral base naked. Naked area extends to below posterior end of spiny dorsal fin. Belly scaled. Two separate dorsal fins. Anterior dorsal fin spines not elongate. Pectoral rays unbranched.


Body pale gray with 9-10 dark brown to black bands across the body from opercle to caudal peduncle. Bands with dense clusters of black melanophores. Pale interspaces with thin median bands of melanophores. Head with dark spots on the cheek and bands or spots radiating from eye. Scattered melanophores on head. Pectoral base with a black blotch. Eye black to dark red. Dorsal fins, anal fin, and tail salmon-pink to bright red, sprinkled with black melanophores. Pelvic and pectoral fins translucent.


A tiny species reaching only about 21.2mm SL


Found on shallow coral reefs and areas of surf from 1-19m.


Scattered records from the Bahamas to the S. Caribbean.


Böhlke, J. E. and C. R. Robins. 1960. Western Atlantic gobioid fishes of the genus Lythrypnus, with notes on Quisquilius hipoliti and Garmannia pallens. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia v. 112: 73-101, Pls. 1-3.

Greenfield, D. W. 1988. A review of the Lythrypnus mowbrayi complex (Pisces: Gobiidae), with the description of a new species. Copeia 1988 (2): 460-469.