Varicus lacerta

Common Name

Godzilla Goby

Year Described

Tornabene, Robertson & Baldwin, 2016


Dorsal Fin: VII, 10
Anal Fin: 8
Pectoral Fin: 18
Caudal Fin: 17 segmented rays
Vertebrae: 11+16= 27 (total)

Body elongate with a large head covered in low ridges. Eye medium sized. Dorsal fin with anterior spines not elongate and last two spines more spaced than the first five. Pelvic fin rays highly branched, with the last shorter than fourth and unbranched. Pelvic rays with flat, fleshy tips. Pelvic fins not fused; extending to anus. One anal-fin pterygiophore anterior to the first haemal spine. Papillae rows 5i and 5s are connected as a single row. Cephalic lateralis pores absent. Body naked. No basicaudal scales present.


Body pale yellow with opalescent white shading. There are four greenish-yellow body bands starting behind the pectoral base. The bands are often broken by a pale interspace or a partial interspace creating a "H" shape. Head with a greenish-yellow eyeband and a saddle on the back of head. All band markings are heavily speckled with melanophores. Eye green. Dorsal and caudal fins yellow without markings and a pale border. Anal fin orange with heavy black speckling on the distal membranes. Pectoral fin orange with two blotches basally speckled with melanophores. Pelvic fins orange distally. Cheek orangish.


Holotype measures 36.2mm SL.


Only known specimen collected between 129-143m in structure on the deep reef.


Known so far only from Curacao.


Tornabene, L., D.R. Robertson, & C.C. Baldwin. 2016. Varicus lacerta, a new species of goby (Teleostei, Gobiidae, Gobiosomatini, Nes subgroup) from a mesophotic reef in the southern Caribbean. ZooKeys; 596, 143.