Ninnigobius canestrinii
   (Ninni, 1883)

Common names: English: none

Common synonyms: Pomatoschistus canestrinii (Ninni, 1883).

Length: 5 - 7 cm.

Brownish grey with many black dots. Males have more dots, 4 dark bars across the body and dark spot in D1.

Caudal fin rounded. Praedorsal area and breast naked. Reductions of head pore canals and scales in freshwater populations.
32-37 (30-38) scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI (V-VI); D2 I+8 (7-9); A I+8 (6-9); P 14-16 (13-17).

Carnivorous; juveniles mostly harpacticoid copepods; adults mainly polychaets; amphipods, ostracods, barnacle larvae, isopods, small molluscs and fish eggs.

Spawning time March to July. Age 16 month. Nests with up to 1,000 eggs under stones, bivalves etc. Parental care by males. Females have 100 - 300 eggs.

1 - 2 m. Soft bottoms. Lagoons, estueries and freshwater. Salinity 0 - 20 (max. 32). Rare.

Ninnigobius canestrinii, male
Photograph: Jörg Freyhof ©
Aquarium, from lake Trasimeno


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Mediterranean; middle eastern and northern Adriatic. Probably introduced to Ionian Sea (Gulf of Taranto) and Trasimeno lake.




Literature on Ninnigobius canestrinii

Franco A, R. Fiorin, P. Franzoi & P. Torricelli, 2005: Threatened fishes of the world: Pomatoschistus canestrinii Ninni, 1883 (Gobiidae). Envir. Biol. Fish. 72: 32.

Franco A, F. Riccato,S. Malavasi, P. Franzoi & T. Torricelli, 2006: Food resource utilization by gobies (Pisces, Teleostei) in the shallows of the Venice Lagoon. Biol. Mar. Medit. 13: 866-868.

Freyhof, J. 1998. First record of Pomatoschistus canestrini (Ninni, 1883) in lake Trasimeno. Riverine Idrobiologia 37: 107-108.

Gandolfi, G., P. Torricelli & A. Cau. 1982. Observations on the biology of the black-spotted goby, Pomatoschistus canestrinii (Ninni). Nova Thalassia 5: 97-123.

Gandolfi, G., S. Zerunian, P. Torricelli & A. Marconato. 1991. Pomatoschistus canestrini (Ninni, 1883). In I pesci delle acque interne italiane, parte 3. Ministero dell'Ambiente, Unione Zoologica Italiana, Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, pp. 504-509.

Geiger, M.F. et al., 2014: Spatial heterogeneity in the Mediterranean Biodiversity Hotspot affects barcoding accuracy of its freshwater fishes. Molecular Ecology Resources doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12257.

Ibanez, C., A. Curco, J.W. Day Jr. & N. Prat. 2000. Structure and productivity of microtidal Mediterranean coastal marshes. 107-136. In: M.P. Weinstein & D.A. Kreeger (eds.), Concepts and Controversies in Tidal Marsh Ecology. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands.

Kolombatovic, J. 1891. Glamoci (Gobii) spljetskog Pomorskog okruzja u Dalmaciji. Split, 29 pp.

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

Kovacic M., 2005b: Morphological variability of Pomatoschistus canestrinii (Gobiidae), with the reduction of squamation and head canals. Cybium 29: 373-379.

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.

Lanzoni M., Gavioli A., Aschonitis V., Merighi M., Fano E.A. & G. Castaldelli, 2016: Length-weight relationships of three estuarine species in the Comacchio Lagoon, Po River delta, Italy. J. Appl. Ichthyol. 32: 1284-1285.

Lugli M. & P. Torricelli, 1999: Prespawning sound production in Mediterranean sand-gobies. J. Fish Biol. 54: 691-694. 

Maccagnani, R., A. Carrieri, P. Franzoi & R. Rossi. 1985. Osservazioni sulla struttura di popolazione ed il ruolo trofico di tre specie di gobidi (Knipowitschia panizzae, Pomatoschistus marmoratus, Pomatoschistus canestrinii) in un ambiente del delta del Po. Nova Thalassia 7: 373-378.

Malavasi S. & Valerio C., Torricelli P., 2009: Courtship sounds and associated behaviours in the Canestrini's goby Pomatoschistus canestrinii. J. Fish Biol. 75: 1883-1887.

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., 2004: Pomatoschistus canestrinii (Ninni, 1883). In: The freshwater fishes of Europe. Vol. 8/II Gobiidae 2 (Ed.: Miller P.J.) pp. 284-292. Aula-Verlag, Wiebelsheim.

Ninni A.P., 1883: Nuova specie di Gobius. Att. Soc. venet-trent. Sci. nat. Padova 8: 276-279.

Stelbrink B. & J. Freyhof, 2005: Reduktion von Schuppen und Kopfkanälen bei Pomatoschistus canestrini (Ninni, 1883) (Gobiidae). 5. Tagung Ges. Ichthyol. Bonn, Sept. 2005. Abstract --> HERE

Stelbrink B. & J. Freyhof, 2006: Reduction of scales and head canals in Pomatoschistus canestrini (Ninni, 1883) (Teleostei, Gobiidae). Verh. Ges. Ichthyol. 5: 71-77.





Drawings of Ninnigobius canestrinii


Drawings from Miller (1986)

Copyright © 2020 - Robert A. Patzner, Department of Biosciences, Univ. Salzburg, Austria.
State: 2020-07-10