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Starry Night Goby

  • Fishes

Introduction: The Starry Night Goby

The Starry Night Goby, also known as the Periophthalmus stellatus, is a highly unique fish species native to the Eastern Indian Ocean, from the coast of Western Australia to the Andaman Sea. It is a small goby, measuring up to 4 centimeters, with a bluish-green body featuring small pink and white star-shaped spots. The Starry Night Goby has a particularly notable behavior, as it prefers to live in shallow coastal zones in groups.

Habitat and Distribution

The Starry Night Goby prefers to inhabit the shallow coastal waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and the surrounding seas, and is usually found in estuarine environments of up to 10 meters in depth. During the day, these fish are known to hide in places such as steel pipe and shipwreck crevices, and also in shallow sand and mud bottoms. At night, they appear near the mangroves. Its range extends from Western Australia to the Andaman Sea, which includes the likes of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia.

Description and Behavior

The Starry Night Goby has a slightly compressed body and pointed head. Its tail is forked and forms a V shape when opened. Its back is dark and its sides are lighter. The fish is covered from head to tail with small spots that are pink and white in color and shaped like stars, hence the species’ other common name of “Starry Night Goby.”

The Starry Night Goby is a social species, living and traveling in shoals of up to 20 individuals. They are also typical gobies, meaning they have a very active lifestyle and usually pursue a wide variety of food sources. They feed during the night and rest during the day.

Diet and Feeding Habits

The Starry Night Goby is a carnivore that mostly feeds on small benthic crustaceans and mollusks. Its diet may also include worms, algae, and plankton. In captivity, they can also consume frozen foods, pellets, and other processed foods.

Starry Night Goby two

Reproduction and Life Cycle

When it comes to spawning, the Starry Night Goby is unique in that it is an internal or nonsynchronous spawner. This means that its eggs will hatch over a period of time rather than all at once. Its breeding season is triggered by the monsoon season, making them congenial in the summer months. During this period, a single female can lay up to 2,000 eggs, which are then externally fertilized by the male. Those eggs will take anywhere from 10 to 14 days to hatch, and the young gobies will take another 4 to 8 weeks to mature.

Importance to Humans

The Starry Night Goby is a fascinating species and is often kept in aquariums. It is a hardy breed that is relatively easy to breed in captivity, making them an ideal choice for home aquariums. In some areas, these fish are also commercially important to local fisheries.


The Starry Night Goby is an adorable fish species native to the Eastern Indian Ocean. It is quite popular in the aquarium hobby due to its attractive star-shaped spots, active lifestyle, and hardiness. In some areas, it can also be of great commercial importance, but most importantly, it plays a vital role in the delicate underwater ecosystem.

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