Lythrypnus phorellus

Common Name

Convict Goby

Year Described

Bohlke & Robins, 1960


Dorsal Fin: VI, 9-10
Anal Fin: 9-10
Pectoral Fin: 14-16 (15)
Caudal Fin: 17
Lateral Line Scales: 25-26
Gill Rakers: 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 rounded at tip. Gill opening extends to ventral part of opercular flap. Head, chest, nape, and pectoral base naked. Naked area a wedge extending to second dorsal fin origin Belly scaled. Two separate dorsal fins. Anterior dorsal fin spines not elongate. Pectoral rays unbranched.


Body pale translucent gray with orange to orange-brown bands. Darker bands split by a pale median band and pale bands with a median band of melanophores. Head with several orange blotches and bands radiating from eye. Eye black to dark red. Base of pectoral fin with two dark blotches (lower one larger). Median fins orange-yellow basally and heavily sprinkled with melanophores.


A tiny species reaching 18mm SL


Corals reefs from 1-34m


North Carolina to the S. Caribbean Sea.


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.