Bollmannia communis

Common Name

Ragged Goby

Year Described

Ginsburg, 1942


Dorsal Fin: VII, 13-15 (usually 14)
Anal Fin: 12-15 (usually 14)
Pectoral Fin: 19-23
Caudal Fin: 16-17 segmented rays
Vertebrae: 11+17= 27 total

Body elongate and slightly compressed with a large head. Eye relatively small. Dorsal fin with median spines elongate (more so in males). Pelvic fins fully united into disk and strong frenum, with a fringed anterior margin of disk. Pelvic fin with fifth ray longest; all rays branched and runs to anus. Caudal fin lanceolate. Two pterygiophores inserted anterior to first haemal spine. Cephalic lateralis canals and pores well developed. Body fully scaled with ctenoid scales (24-29 rows). Nape, pre-dorsal area, pectoral base, and belly with cycloid scales. No modified basicaudal scales.


Specimens with body coloration poorly preserved. Body whitish overall with 4-5 faint lateral brown blotches and an elongated blotch on the rear of the head. Melanophores peppered over the dorsum, scale margins, and around eye and jaw. First dorsal fin clear with two orange stripes that break up posteriorly. Rear of fin with a variable-sized black spots. Males with a black margin on fin. Second dorsal and caudal fin with numerous orange spots surrounded by dark margins. Anal fin pale basally and dark distally. Pelvic fin dark. Pectoral fin transparent. Eye pale.


Maximum size to 100mm SL.


Captured over mud bottoms from 18-77.


Known from the Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, and French Guiana.


Van Tassell, J. L., L. Tornabene, & P.L. Colin. 2012. Review of the western Atlantic species of Bollmannia (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Gobiosomatini) with the description of a new allied genus and species. Aqua. 18; 61-94.

Other Notes

Most similar to Bollmannia litura in form and fin pigmentation, but differs in having a smaller eye (<10% SL) and higher average fin meristics (Van Tassell et al., 2012).