Elacatinus centralis

Common Name

Cayman Sponge Goby

Year Described

Victor, 2014


Dorsal Fin: VII, I, 11
Anal Fin: I, 9-10 (usually 10)
Pectoral Fin: 17-19
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 pale translucent whitish on the belly on the dorsum with a broad black stripe from snout to tail. Edges of black area diffuses into scattered large melanophores. A narrow pale yellow stripe (narrower than pupil) embedded in the black region runs from eye to tail. Stripe becomes white to bluish-white on the tail. There is no marking on snout.


Maximum size to 38mm SL.


Inhabits coral reefs where it is found inside sponges.


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

This species is 3% divergent for mtCO1 from its sister lineage of Elacatinus horsti and E. chancei . Both are found in the southern Caribbean and differ in having a bright yellow stripe and sometimes a yellow snout spot (E. chancei has a partial body stripe) (Victor, 2014).