Barbulifer enigmaticus

Common Name

Enigmatic Goby

Year Described

Joyeux, van Tassell & Macieira, 2009


Dorsal Fin: VII, 12-13 (usually 13)
Anal Fin: 10-11 (usually 11)
Pectoral Fin: 18-20
Vertebrae: 11+16 = 27 total

Body completely naked (lacking basicaudal scales). Frenum absent. No barbel on snout. Two short median barbels on chin are not longer than pupil. A single barbel on side of head between eye and upper jaw. First dorsal spines not elongate at any size. Last two spines more separated than first five. Pelvic fins fused. Three preopercular pores in adults.


Body pale tan with eight reddish brown body bands formed from concentrations of reddish (dorsally) and black (ventrally) melanophores. Pattern can be obvious or diffuse. Each band formed from two paired bands with a narrow pale interspace. Head spotted with melanophores, both clustered into spots and single. Median fins have banding of melanophores confluent with the body banding. Caudal fin with spotting along the segmented rays. Pectoral and pelvic fins pale or speckled. Eye reddish-orange.


Maximum size to 24.4mm SL.


Inhabits very shallow intertidal rock pools and likely subtidal as well. Cryptic within the calcareous substrate.


Southeastern Brazil.


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.