Lythrypnus elasson

Common Name

Dwarf Goby


Dorsal Fin: VI, 9-10
Anal Fin: 9-10
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Caudal Fin: 17
Lateral Line Scales: 25-26
Gill Rakers: 6 (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 bluntly V-shaped at tip. Gill opening extends to ventral part of opercular flap. Head, chest, nape, and pectoral base naked. Naked area extends to origin of soft dorsal fin. Belly scaled. Two separate dorsal fins. Anterior dorsal fin spines slightly elongate. Pectoral rays unbranched.


Body pale yellow to orange with faint darker banding of the same shade. The bands are usually more obvious posteriorly. The body and head is densely covered in melanophores. The head has short bands radiating from eye and spots on cheek that are of a darker orange shade compared to the body. Pectoral fin base with two orange blotches. Median fins translucent with orange wash basally and melanophores. Paired fins clear.


A tiny species reaching 20mm SL


Found in sheltered areas of coral reefs from 10-36m


Scattered records from the Gulf of Mexico, 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.