Gobies comprise the world’s largest family of fish, the Gobiidae, with more than 2000 species known. Nearly all of the species within the genus Nesogobius have been discovered only in recent years, and only two of the ten known species to occur in temperate Australian waters have been given species names. The Opalescent Goby is yet to be given one of these distinctive species names, and hence, little is known about the biology of this species.
The Opalescent Goby is a small, bottom-dwelling fish, reaching a maximum size of just 5 centimetres. It has a translucent body with a distinguishing orange line from the eye to the upper lip and iridescent blue markings along the body. They tend to live in a burrow either in sand or amongst rubble, and are known to be territorial should their home range be at threat from other gobies. At night, the Opalescent Goby emerges from their burrows to feed on a variety of small fish and crustaceans.
Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty
Despite there being plentiful sand and rubble habitat in the waters surrounding the Busselton Jetty, it would be rare to sight an Opalescent Goby from the Underwater Observatory due to their nocturnal and territorial habits.
Image by: R. Austin