Psilotris celsus

Common Name

Highspine Goby

Year Described

Böhlke, 1963


Dorsal Fin: VII, 9-11 (usually 9-10)
Anal Fin: 9-11 (usually 9-10)
Pectoral Fin: 16-17 (usually 17)
Caudal Fin: 17 segmented rays
Vertebrae: 11+16= 27 (total)

Body elongate with a large head. Eye medium sized. Jaw terminates anterior to anterior margin of pupil. Dorsal fin with first two anterior spines elongate and last two spines more spaced than the first five. Pelvic fin rays branched. Pelvic fins not fused. Two anal-fin pterygiophores anterior to the first haemal spine. Papillae rows 5i and 5s are connected as a single row. Cephalic lateralis pores absent. Head and trunk naked. Basicaudal scales absent.


Body pale with seven dorsal saddles that are dark in adults and orange in young fish. The saddles form Y-shaped bars anteriorly near the pectoral fin but align into irregular bars posteriorly, where they fuse with a series of lateral blotches. Larger adults with markings broken up further into a reticulated pattern. Scattered melanophores in the pale interspaces. Head with two eyebands extending from front and rear of eye. Head densely speckled with melanophores and orange lines in adult fish. Young fish with orange spots and black melanophores. Gut reddish to orange. Eye and anterior nostril dark. Dorsal fin peppered with black and orange melanophores and a pale border. Tail peppered with a basal dark band. Anal fin with faint orange bands and dense peppering. Pectoral fin clear. Pelvic fin clear with a reddish base.


Maximum size to 41mm SL.


Inhabits coral and rocky reefs in shallow water (<16m).


Known from Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Lesser Antilles, and off Colombia.


Greenfield, D. W. 1993. New goby, Psilotris boehlkei (Pisces: Gobiidae), from the western Atlantic, with a key to the species. Copeia, 771-775.

Tornabene, L., J.L. Van Tassell, R.G. Gilmore, D.R. Robertson, F. Young, & C.C. Baldwin. 2016a. Molecular phylogeny, analysis of character evolution, and submersible collections enable a new classification of a diverse group of gobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae: Nes subgroup), including nine new species and four new genera. Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society.

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