Gobius cruentatus Gmelin, 1789

Common names: English: Red-mouthed goby
German: Blutmund-Grundel, Venezianische Meergrundel

Common synonym
Gobius strictus Fage, 1907 (juveniles of G. cruentatus).

Length: 12 - 18 cm.

Red lips. Body dark and light brownish marbled; in the midline a row of large dark spots. Bright cross-lines at the back. Narrow bright stripe in the nape, above the basis of the pectoral fin. Top of D1 bright.
Juveniles: no red lips; body not marbled. Not easy to recognice.

Anterior nostrils with single tentacles. Praedorsal area and nape scaled.
Males produce sound during threatning.
52-58 scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI; D2 I+14; A I+12-13; P 20-21.

Carnivorous; preferably mysids but also other crustaceans, other evertebrates and small fish.

No informations. Spawning probably late spring and early summer.

1 - 35 m. Rocky shores. Sometimes on small sandy areas and close to sea grass. Common, in some regions very common.

Gobius cruentatus
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Ibiza, Baleares, 10 m depth, September 1994


Species list
General info


Mediterranean; Atlantic.




Literature on Gobius cruentatus

Al-Hassan L.A.J. & El-Silini O.A., 1999: Check-list of bony fishes collected from the Mediterranean coast of Benghazi, Libya. Rev. Biol. Mar. Ocean 34: 291-301.

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

Ciriaco S., M. Costantini, C. Italiano & R. Odorico, 1998: Monitoring the Miramare Marine Reserve: assessment of protection efficiency. Ital. J. Zool. 65: 383-386.

Ciriaco S., C. Italiano, M. Spoto & L. Verginella, 1998: Quantifying fish nest density as a tool for assessing the "reserve effect". Sypos. Lissabon.

Collignon J., 1979: Calalogue raisonne des poissons des mers Marocaines 4. Partie. Bull. Inst. Pech. Mar. Maroc 24: 83-155.

Engin S., D. Turan & M. Kovacic, 2007: First record of the red-mouthed goby, Gobius cruentatus (Gobiidae), in the Black Sea. Cybium 31: 87-88.

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.

Gmelin J.F., 1789: Pisces in Caroli a Linne, Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, gerera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Ed. XIII 1: 1126-1516.

Kovacic M., 2004: Unusual morphological and ecological characteristics of hyperbenthic juveniles of Gobius cruentatus. J. Fish Biol. 65: 545-558.

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. & 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.

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.

Neumann V. & T. Paulus, 2005: Mittelmeeratlas. Megus, Melle.

Padoa E., 1953: Sottordine Gobiiformes. Famiglia Gobiidae in uova, larve e stadi giovanili di Teleostei. Fauna Flora Golfo Napoli, 38: 648-678.

Patzner R.A. & H. Moosleitner, 1997: Die Grundeln des Mittelmeeres. Teil 2. Große Grundeln des Hartbodens 2. Das Aquarium 336: 32-36.

Picciulin M., L. Sebastianutto, M. Costantini, M. Rocca,-Martina & E.A. Ferrero, 2006: Aggressive territorial ethogram of the of the red-mouthed goby, Gobius cruentatus (Gmelin, 1789). Electr. J. Ichthyol. 2: 38-49. Article HERE -->

Picciulin M., Sebastianutto L., Codarin A. et al., 2010: In situ behavioural responses to boat noise exposure of Gobius cruentatus (Gmelin, 1789; fam. Gobiidae) and Chromis chromis (Linnaeus, 1758; fam. Pomacentridae) living in a Marine Protected Area. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 386: 125-132.

Saad A., 2005: Check-list of bony fish collected from the coast of Syria. Turkish J. Fish. Aqu. Sci. 5: 99-106.

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.

Wilkins H.K.A. & A.A. Myers, 1993: Shelter utilization by Gobius cruentatus and Thorogobius ephippiatus (Teleostei: Gobiidae). J. Fish Biol. 43: 763-773.



Photographs of Gobius cruentatus

Gobius cruentatus
Adriatic Sea, Italy, 5 m depth, July 1999
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius cruentatus
Northern Adriatic Sea, 2 m depth, June 1998
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius cruentatus
South-western France, 8 m depth, September 1992
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius cruentatus
Northern Adriatic Sea, 3 m depth, May. 2007
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©





Drawings of Gobius cruentatus

Drawings from Miller (1986)



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