Pomatoschistus pictus (Malm, 1865)

Common names: English: Painted goby
German: Fleckengrundel

Common synonyms: Pomatoschistus adriaticus Miller 1973.
Please note: It is possible that this is a species of its own in the Mediterranean. (see Ozturk & Engin, 2019).

Length: 5 - 6 cm.

Brownish grey with dark reticulation. 4 dark double spots along midline and 4 pale saddles on back side. Characteristic: 1 - 2 rows of dark spots in D1 and D2 with rosy bands. Triangular dark bars beween eys and mouth.

Caudal fin rounded. Praedorsal area and breast naked.
34-43 scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI (V-VI); D2 I+9 (7-10); A I+8-9; P 18-19 (16-20).

Carnivorous; small benthic crustaceans; juveniles planktivorous.

Spawning season in Atlantic: March to July. Males have nests under stones or bivalve shells laying on sand. Age: 2 years.

1 - 20 m. Sandy bottoms. In groups. Juveniles in large groops (50 to several thousand individuals) hovering above bottom. Adults on substrate, often below juveniles. Rare in Mediterranean.

Pomatoschistus pictus
Photograph: Mike Noren ©
Tjärnö Aquarium, December 2001


Species list
General info


Mediterranean: Adriatic Sea and Sea of Marmara. Atlantic: main distribution.




Literature on Pomatoschistus pictus

Bilecenoglu M., Taskavak E., Mater S. 6 Kaya M., 2002: Checklist of the marine fishes of Turkey. Zootaxa 113: 1-194.

Bouchereau J.-L., V. Houder, A. Marques & J.E. Rebelo, 2003: A new distribution record and the reproductive strategy of Pomatoschistus pictus adriaticus (Pisces: Gobiidae) in the Mediterranean Sea . J. Mar Biol. Ass. U.K. 83: 1157-1161. Abstract --> HERE

Collins S.P., 1982: Littoral and benthic investigations on the west coast of Ireland - XIV. The biology of the painted goby, Pomatoschistus pictus (Malm) on the Connemara coast. Proc R Irish Acad 82 B: 21-37.

Jouvenel J.Y., 1997: Inventory of Cerbere/Banyuls-sur-Mer marine reserve ichtyofauna (N.-W. Mediterranean, France). Vie Milieu 47: 77-84.

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.

Künne C., 1934: Über das Laichgeschäft der Bunten Grundel im Aquarium. Bl. Aquar. u. Terrarienk. 45: 350-352.

Lebour M.V., 1920: The eggs of Gobius minutus, pictus, and microps. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 12: 253-260.

Louisy P., 2002: Meeresfische, Westeuropa, Mittelmeer. Ulmer, Stuttgart.

Malm A.W., 1865: Ichthyologiska bidrag til Skandinaviens fauna. Forh. Skand. Naturf. Mote 9: 405-414.

Miller P. J., 1973: The identity of Gobius affinis Kolombatovic, with notes on the systematics and biology of Pomatoschistus pictus (Malm). Annali Mus. civ. Stor. nat. Giacomo Doria.

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.

Özen Ö., Irmak E. & Bilecenoglu M., 2007: Occurrence of Pomatoschistus minutus (Pallas, 1770) (Pisces: Gobiidae) along the north Aegean coast of Turkey. Annales Series Historia Naturalis 17:161-164.

Ozturk D.S. & S. Engin (2019): Taxonomic status of the Mediterranean-endemic goby Pomatoschistus adriaticus Miller, 1973 inferred with both morphological and genetic data. Zoology in the Middle East 65: 142-150.

Patzner R. & R.S. Santos, 1990: Biologie der Fleckengrundel, Pomatoschistus pictus, im Atlantik. DATZ 11: 672-674.

Patzner R.A. & H. Moosleitner, 1999: Die Grundeln des Mittelmeeres. Teil 5. Kleine Grundeln des Weichbodens 2. Das Aquarium. 370: 54-60.

Petersen C.G.J., 1919: Our gobies (Gobiidae) from the egg to the adult stages. Rep. Dan. biol. Stn. 26: 47-66.

Terofal F., 1986: Meeresfische. Steinbachs Naturführer. Mosaik Verlag, München.

Zander C.D. & A. Heymer, 1977: Analysis of ecological equivalents among littoral fish. Europ. Mar. Biol Symp. 11: 621-630.



Photographs of Pomatoschistus pictus

Pomatoschistus pictus
Arrabida Marine Park, Portugal, March 1998
Photograph: E. Goncalves ©
Pomatoschistus pictus, three first rays in D2 are regenerating.
Tjärnö Aquarium, December 2001
Photograph: Mike Noren ©
Pomatoschistus pictus, female
Azores (Atlantic), 10 m depth, July 1989
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Pomatoschistus pictus, spawning male
Azores (Atlantic), 1.5 m depth, July 1989
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©




Drawings of Pomatoschistus pictus


Drawing by F. Wendler from Treofal (1986)


Drawings from Miller (1986)

Copyright © 2019 - Robert A. Patzner, Department of Biosciences, Univ. Salzburg, Austria.
State: 2019-07-29
E-mail: robert.patzner@sbg.ac.at