Elacatinus cayman

Common Name

Cayman Cleaner Goby

Year Described

Victor, 2014


Dorsal Fin: VII, I, 10-11 (usually 11)
Anal Fin: I, 9-10 (usually 10)
Pectoral Fin: 16-17
Caudal Fin: 17 segmented rays, 6-9 upper and lower procurrent
Gill Rakers:
Vertebrae: 28

Mouth subterminal. Pelvic fins fully united into circular disk. Body scaleless.


Body and head black with an abruptly pale belly. A conspicuous eye stripe runs from snout to caudal fin that is bright yellow bordered on both sides by iridescent blue. The blue and yellow stripes are about pupil diameter and do not broaden significantly towards the rear. Stripes are fused into a yellow "V" or "U" on the snout.


Maximum size to 23mm SL.


Inhabits coral reefs where it is a cleaner fish.


Endemic to the Cayman Islands.


Victor, B.C. 2014. Three new endemic cryptic species revealed by DNA barcoding of the gobies of the Cayman Islands (Teleostei: Gobiidae). J. Ocean Sci. Found. 12: 25-60.

Other Notes

Closest to Elactinus evelynae yellow-blue morphs from the Caribbean and also E. genie. Genetic divergences are apparent but shallow (<2%). In E. evelynae the yellow stripe narrows posteriorly and almost disappears on the rear body into the whitish or bluish stripes. In E. genie the yellow stripes broadens on the body and is much thicker than the blue stripes (Victor, 2014).