Coryphopterus personatus

Common Name

Masked Goby

Year Described

Jordan & Thompson, 1905


Dorsal Fin: VI, 10-11 (usually 11)
Anal Fin: 11-12 (usually 11)
Pectoral Fin: 14-16 (usually 15)
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Caudal Fin: 17 segmented rays
Lateral Line Scales: 24-28
Vertebrae: 9+17=26

Body elongate. Snout profile rounded. Eyes large and placed dorsally. A low fleshy ridge present on nape from between eyes to dorsal fin origin. Anterior nostril tubular. Posterior nostril not tubular. Mouth small. Tongue truncated to lobed. No teeth on vomer or palatine. Teeth in jaws present in several irregular rows. Gill membranes joined to isthmus. Pectoral, soft dorsal, and anal fins with all rays branched and bound by membranes (first element simple). First dorsal fin with a filamentous second ray. Second dorsal base longer than caudal peduncle length. Ventral fins separated with rays branched. Frenum reduced. Body covered in ctenoid scales, becoming cycloid on chest. Head and nape naked. Head pores present (2 pores between front of eye, 1 pore just behind eye, and one pair between rear nostrils). No lateral line.


Body translucent. Viscera white with 2 orange stripes. Dorsal-most orange stripe runs onto back of head. Spinal column opaque white with alternating orange bands. Cheek rosy. Snout with dark red band. Eye white with a thick black eyeband.. A white to bluish line runs backward from rear of eye. Bluish between eyes on snout. Melanophores not dense at base of anal fin. Anus ringed in black. Fins clear.


Maximum size to 40mm SL.


Shallow coral reefs (1-70m) around recesses. Forms schools well off the bottom.


S. Florida to Venezuela. Also Bermuda.


Baldwin, C.C., Weigt, L.A., Smith, D.G., & J.H. Mounts. 2009. Reconciling genetic lineages with species in western Atlantic Coryphopterus (Teleostei: Gobiidae). Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences, 38: 111-138.

Baldwin C.C. & D.R. Robertson. 2015. A new, mesophotic Coryphopterus goby (Teleostei, Gobiidae) from the southern Caribbean, with comments on relationships and depth distributions within the genus. ZooKeys 513: 123-142.

Böhlke, J.E. & C.R. Robins. 1960. A revision of the gobioid fish genus Coryphopterus. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 112, 103-128.

Other Notes

The clade of Coryphopterus lipernes, C. hyalinus, and C. personatus is unique in being more midwater swimmers compared to the usual benthic nature of other genus members.