Gobius fallax Sarato, 1889

Common names: English: Sarato's goby
German: Sarato-Grundel

Common synonyms: none.

Length: 7 - 9 cm.

Yellowish to brown-olive, belly whitish. Rows of dark and golden brown spots. Orange spots with dark centers on fins. Similar to G. xanthocephalus and the northern Adriatic form of G. auratus.

Pelvic disc deeply emarginated. Similar to G. xanthocephalus and G. bucchichi. Anterior nostril with triangular flap. Praedorsal area and nape scaled.
39-48 scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI; D2 I+14-16; A I+13-15; P 18.


No informations.

1 - 20 m. Rocky shores with small sandy areas. Also on sand patches in front of rocks. Flee into holes or clefts. Abundant in the northern Adriatic Sea, in other places not common.

Gobius fallax
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia, 3 m depth, June 1999


Species list
General info


Mediterranean: not quite clear, probably in all the northern part; Atlantic: Canaries.




Literature on Gobius fallax

Ahnelt H., 1984: Zur Kenntnis von Gobius bucchichi Steindacher, 1870 und Gobius fallax Sarato, 1889 (Pisces, Gobiidae). Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 86: 1-5.

Al-Hassan L.A.J., 1999: First record of some fishes from Libyan waters. Ind. J. Fish. 46: 195-198.

Bath H., 1971: Wiederbeschreibung und Verbreitung von Gobius fallax Sarato 1889 und Vergleich mit Gobius bucchichii Steindacher 1870 (Pisces: Gobioidei: Gobiidae). Senckenberg.Biol. 52: 211-218.

Fricke, R., M. Bilecenoglu & H. Musa Sari. 2007. Annotated checklist of fish and lamprey species (Gnathostomata and Petromyzontomorphi) of Turkey, including a Red List of threatened and declining species. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie A (Biologie) 706: 1-169.

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.

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

Kovacic M. & Golani D., 2007: First record of three gobiid species in the Levant. Cybium 31: 89-91.

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., Sanda R. & Kirincic M., Zanella D., 2012: Geographic distribution of gobies (Gobiidae) in the Adriatic Sea with thirteen new records for its southern part. Cybium 36: 435-445.

Kovacic M. & Schembri P.J., 2019: Twelve new records of gobies and clingfishes (Pisces: Teleostei) significantly increase small benthic fish diversity of Maltese waters. Medit. Mar. Sci., 20/2, 2019, 287-296.

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, 1999: Die Grundeln des Mittelmeeres. Teil 5. Kleine Grundeln des Weichbodens 1. Das Aquarium 357: 50-54.

Sarato C., 1889: Causerie scientifique. Gobius fallax. Gazette de Nice et des Alpes Maritimes 16: 3.







Photographs of Gobius fallax

Gobius fallax
Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy, 3 m depth, July 1998
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius fallax
Northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia, 2 m depth, May 1999
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius fallax
Northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia, 3 m depth, May 1999
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius cf. fallax
Menorca Island, Baleares, 15 m depth, June 2012, during night
Photograph: Stefano Guerrieri ©
Gobius fallax
Cyprus,  5 m depth, July 2002, during night
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©


Drawings of Gobius fallax

Above: lateral line system of G. fallax, male.
Right: pelvic disc of G. fallax, female.
Drawings from Herler et al., 2005



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