Gobius auratus Risso, 1810

Common names: English: Golden goby
German: Goldgrundel

Common synonym:
Gobius luteus
(Kolombatovic, 1891)

Length: 6 - 8 cm.

Canary yellow; small dark spot at the upper edge of the base of the pectoral fin. Northern Adriatic population: yellow basis colouration with longitudinal lines of red dots (Herler et al., 2005). Similarities to G. fallax and G. xanthocephalus.

Deeply emarginated pelvic disc. Anterior nostrils with small triangular lobes. Praedorsal area and nape scaled. Similarities to G. fallax and G. xanthocephalus.
45 scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI; D2 I+14; A I+13; P 19 (18-19).

Carnivorous; mainly Harpacticida (>60%), Gammarida, polychaets, gastropods, algae.

Spawning season: April and May.

8 - 80 m. Rocky shores. Hover 10 to 20 cm above its hiding-place. Relatively timid. Less common.

Gobius auratus
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Adriatic Sea, 10 m depth, May 1989


Species list
General info


Mediterranean; southern France, Tyrrhenian Sea, Sardinia (A. Colacino: pers. communic.), Southern Italy (M. Maurizio: pers. communic.), Tremiti Islands (L. Cherici: pers. communic.) Sicily, Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea and eastern Levant.



Literature on Gobius auratus


Bilecenoglu M., Taskavak E., Mater S. 6 Kaya M., 2002: Checklist of the marine fishes of Turkey. Zootaxa 113: 1194.

Bussotti, S. & Guidetti, P. (2005). Distribution patterns of the golden goby, Gobius auratus, in the Mediterranean sublittoral rocky cliffs. Italian Journal of Zoology 72, 305-309

Francour P., M. Bilecenoglu & M. Kaya, 2007: In situ observations on new and rare gobies from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Rapp. Comm. int. Mer médit., 38: 478.

Francour P., Bodilis P., Cottalorda J.M., Seytre C. 2010. Inventaire des Gobiidae dans la Réserve Naturelle de Scandola (Corse) et à proximité de ses limites. Contrat Parc Naturel Régional de la Corse. Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, ECOMERS publ., Nice: 1-54.

Herler J., R.A. Patzner & C. Sturmbauer, 2005: A preliminary revision of the Gobius auratus species complex with redescription of Gobius auratus Risso, 1810. J. Nat. Hist. 39: 1043-1075.

Heymer A. & C.D. Zander, 1992: Le statut de Gobius auratus Risso, 1810 et description de Gobius xanthocephalus n. sp. de la Mediterranee (Teleostei, Gobiidae). Zool. Jb. Syst. 119 291-314.

Heymer A. & C.D. Zander, 1994: La discrimination phenotypisque, meristique et eco-ethologique entr Gobius auratus Risso, 1810 et Gobius xanthocephalus Heymer et Zander, 1992 (Teleostei, Gobiidae). Rev.fr.Aquariol. 20 (3) 81-92.

Kolombatovic J., 1891: Glamoci (Gobii) Spljetskog Pomorskog Okruzja u Dalmaciji. Split : 29 p.

Kovacic M., 2005: An annotated checklist of the family Gobiidae in the Adriatic Sea. Annales Ser. hist. nat. 15: 1-24.

Kovacic M., 2020: Checklist of gobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae) of the Mediterranean Sea and a key for species identification. Zootaxa 4877: 075-101.

Kovacic M., Miletic M. & Papageorgiou N., 2011: A first checklist of gobies from Crete with ten new records. Cybium 35: 245-253.

Kovacic M. & Patzner R.A., 2011: North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Gobies. In: The Biology of Gobies. (Eds: Patzner et al.) Science Publishers: 177-206.

Kovacic M. & Patzner R.A., 2011: North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Gobies. In: The Biology of Gobies. (Eds: Patzner R.A. et al.) Science Publishers: 177-206.

Kovacic M., Patzner R.A. & Schliewen U., 2012: A first quantitative assessment of the ecology of cryptobenthic fishes in the Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol. 159: 2731-2742.

Kramer A., Kovacic M. & Patzner R.A., 2012: Dentition of eight species of Mediterranean Sea Gobiidae: do dentition characters of gobies reflect phylogenetic relationships? Journal of Fish Biology 80: 29-48.

Lombarte A., Miletic M. & Kovacic M. et al., 2014: Identifying Mediterranean Sea gobies using otoliths. 5th Int. symp. fish otolith res. appl., Peguera, Mallorca: Poster.

Louisy P., 2002: Meeresfische, Westeuropa, Mittelmeer. Ulmer, Stuttgart.

Miller P.J., 1986: Gobiidae. In: Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Volume III. (Eds.: Whitehead P.J.P. et al.) pp. 1019-1085. UNESCO, Paris.

Patzner R.A. & H. Moosleitner, 1998: Die Grundeln des Mittelmeeres. Teil 4. Kleine Grundeln des Hartbodens 1. Das Aquarium 348: 40-44. 

Risso A., 1810: Ichtyologie de Nice, ou histoire naturelle des poissons du département des Alpes Maritimes. Paris, xxxvi+388 p. (Reprint, 1966, Asher, Amsterdam).






Photographs of Gobius auratus

Gobius auratus
Adriatic Sea, 12 m depth, May 1989
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius auratus
Tyrrhenian Sea, 10 m depth, June 1993
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius auratus
 Northern Adriatic Sea, 15 m depth, May 2008
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius auratus
Northern Adriatic Sea, 10 m depth, June 1999
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©

Drawings of Gobius auratus

Above: lateral line system of G. auratus from nothern Adriatic, male
Below: Pelvic disc A: G. auratus from northern Adriatic, male;
B: neotype of. G. auratus (Heymer & Zander), female



Drawings from Miller, 1986 (as Gobius luteus)


Copyright © 2016 - Robert A. Patzner, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Univ. Salzburg, Austria.
State: 2016-04-17
E-mail: robert.patzner@sbg.ac.at