Gobius roulei De Buen, 1928

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

Common synonyms: none.

Length: 6 - 8 cm.

Sandy colored with a row of dark spots (black surrounded by brown). Brown reticulation on back. First ray of D1 with dark transverse stripes. No dark spot on D1. Spawning males (--> photograph) not black like G. niger.

In adult males D1 sickle-shaped and prolonged during spawning (similar to G. niger). Nape and cheek naked. Anterior nostril with triangular lappet.
33-34 (32-35) scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI; D2 I+12; A I+11.
Species from Ibiza differ somewhat from those of the Adriatic Sea.

Carnivorous; mobile benthic fauna, including bivalves, gastropods, polychaets, pagurids, mysids, gammarids and fishes.

Spawning season: Aprit to August. Reproductive behaviour: goby pattern. One female has 1.200 - 8.000 eggs (1-1.2 x 04-0.5). Nests are built under stones or empty shells of mussels. Up to 7 years old.

0,1 - 25? m. Sandy bottoms. Avoids polluted areas (in contrast to G. niger). Settles under shells of bivalves, flat stones or other objects. In certain regions (e.g. northern Adriatic Sea) quite common.

Gobius roulei
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia, 2 m depth, June 1998


Species list
General info


Mediterranean: findings in eastern Mediterranean: Kovacic & Golani (2006) Patzner & Moosleitner, unpublished, see also photographs; most probably at least in all the northern part of Mediterranean; Atlantic: southern coast of Portugal (>300 m depth)




Literature on Gobius roulei


Ahnelt H. & J. Dorda, 2004: Gobioid fishes from the north eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean: new records and rarely found species. Ann. Nat. Hist. Mus. Wien 105B: 5-19.

Bilecenoglu M, Kaya M, Cihangir B, Çiçek E (2014) An updated checklist of the marine fishes of Turkey. Turkish Journal of Zoology 38: 901-929.

De Buen F., 1928: Description de un nuevo Gobius (G. roulei nov. spec.). Notas Resum. Inst. esp. Oceanogr. 2: 6.

Kovacic M., 1995: Gobius roulei de Buen, 1928 (Pisces, Teleostei, Gobiidae), a fish new to the Adriatic fauna. Nat. Croat. 4: 173-184.

Kovačić M., 1999: Gobius roulei in the Adriatic Sea. M. Sc. Thesis, University of Zagreb. [in Croatian]

Kovacic M., 2001: The biology of Roule's goby in the Kvarner area, northern Adriatic Sea. J. Fish Biol. 59: 795-809.

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. & D. Golani, 2006: First record of the Roule's goby, Gobius roulei (Gobiidae), in the Levant. Cybium 30: 189-190.

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. & 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.

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.

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.

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.

Lipej L., M. Orlando Bonaca & M. Sisko, 2003: Coastal fish diversity in three marine protected areas and one unprotected area in the Gulf od Triest ( Northern Adriatic). P.S.Z.N.I. Mar. Ecol. 24: 1-15.

Liu H.T.H., Ahnelt H. & Balma G.A.C., Delmastro G.B., 2009: First record of Gobius roulei (Gobiidae) in the Ligurian Sea. Cybium 33(3): 253-254.

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






Photographs of Gobius roulei

Gobius roulei
Ibiza, Baleares, 23 m depth, August 2001
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius roulei
Cyprus, 5 m depth, July 2002
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius roulei
Ibiza, Baleares, 23 m depth, September 1988
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius roulei, nesting male
Cyprus, 5 m depth, July 2002
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius roulei
Krk, Croatia, 5 m depth, August 1998
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius roulei
Chalkydike, Greece, aquarium, July 1970
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©




Drawings of Gobius roulei



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