Gobius couchi
   Miller & El-Tawil, 1974

Common names: English: Couchi's goby
German: Couch-Gundel

Common synonyms: none.

Length: 9 cm, in Mediterranean 7 cm.

Dark reticulation, 5 lateral blotches; golden spots below midline, 1 (sometimes 2) dark cheek spots. Dark spot with white margin at the upper end of the base of the pectoral fin.

Praedorsal area and nape scaled, cheek naked. Pelvic disk rounded to truncate. Anterior nostril with triangular lappet.
Important criterion: the first dorsal fin of this species is different from all other because all the rays of the first dorsal fin have free upper part (no membrane). See photographs ->
40-41 (35-45) scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI; D2 I+13 (12-14); A I+12 (11-13); P 16-17 (15-18).

Omnivorous; polychaets, algae, crustaceans, bivalves.

Spawning in Atlantic: spring.

Less than 1 to 20 m. Often on sand, in quiet waters between and in holse under roots of Cymodocea nodosa. Also on gently sloping bedrocks grooved with channels and pools filld with sand. Lying on the bottom, close to a shelter. Not common in the Mediterranean.

Gobius couchi female
Photograph: Roberto Pillon ©
Croatia, northern Adriatic Sea, 3 m depth, May 2014



Species list
General info


Mediterranean: Northern and central Adriatic Sea, Tyrrhennian Sea at Iscia. Atlantic: south-west of England and Ireland.



Literature on Gobius couchi


Kovacic M., 2001: The Kvarner population of Gobius couchi (Teleostei, Gobiidae), a fish new to the Adriatic fauna. Natura Croatica 10: 1-10.

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

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 R.A. et al.) Science Publishers: 177-206.

Kovacic M., Bonello J.J. & Evans J., 2013: Three new records of Gobiidae from Malta with morphology, colouration and identification of the smallest known juveniles of two small gobiid species. Cybium 37: 233-239.

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.

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.

Miller P.J. & M.Y. El-Tawil, 1974: A multidisciplinary approach to a new species of Gobius (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from southern Cornwall. J. Zool. Lond. 174: 539-574.

Özen Ö., Ayyildiz H., Tuncay D. & Bilecenoglu M., 2009: First record of Gobius couchi (Miller and ElTawil, 1974) from the Aegean Sea (Pisces: Gobiidae). Zoology in the Middle East 47:109-110.

Stefanni S. & C. Mazzoldi, 1999: The presence of Couch's goby in the Mediterranean Sea. J. Fish Biol. 54: 1128-1131.

Wilkins H.K.A. & A.A. Myers, 1992: Microhabitat utilisation by an assemblage of temperate Gobiidae (Pisces: Teleostei). Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 90: 103-112.



Photographs of Gobius couchi

Gobius couchi, male
Croatia, northern Adriatic Sea, 1 m depth, 2016
Photograph: Roberto Pillon ©
Gobius couchi
Croatia, northern Adriatic Sea, 2 m depth, 2016
Photograph: Roberto Pillon ©
Gobius couchi, male
Croatia, northern Adriatic Sea, 3 m depth, 2014
Photograph: Roberto Pillon ©
Gobius couchi
Adriatic Sea, Aquarium, Sept. 2000
Photograph: Marcelo Kovacic ©





Drawings of Gobius couchi

Above: drawings from Miller, 1986

Right: head lateral-line sensory papillae and canal pores of male, 53.8 + 12.3 mm, AN, PN = anterior and posterior nostrils. Pores in Greek characters. Scale = 3 mm.

From Kovacic, 2001

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