Barbulifer ceuthoecus

Common Name

Bearded Goby

Year Described

Jordan & Gilbert, 1884


Dorsal Fin: VII, 10-11
Anal Fin: 9-10
Pectoral Fin: 16-20
Vertebrae: 11+16 = 27 total

Body completely naked (lacking basicaudal scales). Frenum absent. Gill opening a short slit. Median barbel on tip of snout. Two short median barbels on chin are not longer than half eye diameter. A single barbel on side of head between eye and upper jaw. Another pair of barbels along lower jaw with a low fringe of tiny barbels along lower jaw. First dorsal spines not elongate at any size. Last two spines more separated than first five. Pelvic fins fused. Two preopercular pores in adults.


Pattern variable. Body medium brown and head paler brown. Up to eight whitish rectangular blotches along dorsal midline and another series of 4-6 round whitish blotches along the lower side not in line with the dorsal blotches. Body heavily speckled with dark melanophores with denser concentrations around white blotches. Head usually lighter. Lower head and belly orangish to reddish. Dorsal fins pale with dark speckling on the lower third of the rays and spines. Anal and pelvic fins pale. Caudal and pectoral fins pale with conspicuous dark basal areas.


Maximum size to 30mm SL.


Inhabits very shallow water in the rubble zone of coral reefs.


S. Florida to Venezuela, including the Caribbean islands and Central America.


Böhlke, J.E., & 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: 45-174.

Joyeux, J. C., J.L. Van Tassell, & R.M. Macieira. 2009. Barbulifer enigmaticus, a new seven-spined goby (Pisces: Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the southwestern Atlantic. Zootaxa. 2022: 58-68.