Pomatoschistus marmoratus
   (Risso, 1810)

Common names: English: Marbled goby

Common synonym
Pomatoschistus microps leopardinus (Nordmann, 1840)

Length: 5 - 7 cm.

Whitish yellow; marbled; numerous small brown dots. Dark spots along the midline (last one on base of caudal fin). Males with 4 dark bars across, dark spot in D1 and dark breast. Females with light breast and dark blotch on chin.

Caudal fin rounded. Praedorsal area naked, breast scaled.
40-46 (37-48) scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI (V-VII); D2 I+9 (8-10); A I+9 (8-10); P 19-20 (17-21).

Carnivorous; small crustaceans, larvae of insects.

Spawning season in Mediterranean (Venice): April to July, and August to September. In Suez Canal: November to April. One female has 307 - 1,226 eggs (1.0 x 0.6 mm). Eggs are laied under bivalve shells. Parental (male) care. Sexually mature after 1 year. Age: 17 months.

0,1 - 20 m. Soft bottoms. Also in brackish water and salt works. Common.

Pomatoschistus marmoratus
Photograph: Roberto Pillon ©
Male, Adriatic Sea, 30 cm depth, June 2020


Species list
General info


Mediterranean; Black Sea; Suez Canal.




Literature on Pomatoschistus marmoratus

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.

Altin A., Ozen O., Ayyildiz H. et al., 2015: Feeding habits of the marbled goby, Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Gobiidae), in the Canakkale Strait, northern Aegean Sea, Turkey. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 45: 95-100.

Arculeo M., A. Mauro, S. Lo-Brutto, S. Mirto, M. Cammarata, A. Mazzola & N. Parrinello, 1999: Biochemical genetic differentiation between Pomatoschistus marmoratus and P. tortonesei. J. Fish Biol. 54: 190-195.

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

Fouda M.M., M.Y. Hanna & F.M. Fouda, 1993: Reproductive biology of a Red Sea goby, Silhouettea aegyptia, and a Mediterranean goby, Pomatoschistus marmoratus, in Lake Timsah, Suez Canal. J. Fish Biol. 43: 139-151.

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.

Gandolfi G., S. Zerunian, P. Torricelli & A. Marconato, 1991: I pesci delle acque interne italiane (Italian freshwater fishes). Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, Roma. 616 pp

Georghiev J.M., 1964: Composition d'especie et characteristique des Gobiides (Pisces) en Bulgaria. Izv. nauchno-issled. Inst. Rib. Stop. Okeanogr. Varna 7: 159-228.

Iaia S., 1985: The biology of Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Risso, 1810) (Osteichthyes, Gobiidae) in the delta of Po River. Thesis, Facolt`a di Scienze MM.FF.NN., Universit`a di Ferrara, Ferrara 71 pp. [in Italian].

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.

Locatello L., C. Mazzoldi, M. Santon et al. (2016): Unexpected female preference for smaller males in the marbled goby Pomatoschistus marmoratus. J. Fish Biol. 89: 1845-1850.

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: Observations on population structure and trophic role of three goby species in the delta of Po River. Nova Thalas. 7 (Suppl. 3): 373–378 [in Italian].

Mazzoldi, C. & M.B. Rasotto, 1998: Parental and egg size variability in the marbled goby, Pomatoschistus marmoratus. Intern. Symp. “Behaviour and Conservation of Littoral Fishes”. Lisboa, April 1998, pp. 65-66.

Mazzoldi C. & M.B. Rasotto, 2001: Extended breeding season in the marbled goby, Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Teleostei: Gobiidae), in the Venetian Lagoon. Envir. Biol. Fish. 61: 175-183.

Mazzoldi C., C. Poltronieri & M.B. Rasotto, 2002: Egg size variability and mating system in the marbled goby Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Pisces: Gobiidae). Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 233: 231-239.

Mejri R., Arculeo M., Ben Hassine O.K. et al., 2011: Genetic architecture of the marbled goby Pomatoschistus marmoratus (Perciformes, Gobiidae) in the Mediterranean Sea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58: 395-403.

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.

Nordmann, A. v., 1840: Observations sur la fauna pontique. In: A. de Démidoff. Voyage dans la Russie méridionale et la Crimée. Vol. III. Paris. Voyage Russie Mérid. 353-635.

Norman J.R., 1927: Zoological results of the Cambridge expedition to the Suez Canal, 1924. Fishes. Trans. zool. Soc. Lond. 22: 375-389.

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

Risso A., 1810: Ichtyologie de Nice, ou histoire naturelle des poissons du département des Alpes Maritimes. Paris, xxxvi+388 p. (Reprint, 1966, Asher, Amsterdam).

Sparta A., 1936: Uova e larve di Gobiidae. III. Gobius ferrugineus Kolomb. Mem. R. Com. talassogr. ital. 228: 6.

Vodyanitzki W.A. & I.L. Kazanova, 1954: Key for identification of the pelagic eggs and fish larvae in the Black Sea. Trudy vses. nauchno-issled. Inst. morsk. ryb. khoz. Okeanogr. 28: 240-327 [in Russian].



Photographs of Pomatoschistus marmoratus



Pomatoschistus marmoratus
Adriatic Sea, mating female, June 2020
Roberto Pillon ©
Pomatoschistus marmoratus
Adriatic Sea, mating male, June 2020
Photograph: Roberto Pillon ©
Pomatoschistus marmoratus
Malta, July 2019
Photograph: Mark Falzon ©
Pomatoschistus marmoratus
Malta, July 2019
Photograph: Mark Falzon ©






Drawings of Pomatoschistus marmoratus


Drawings from Miller (1986)

Copyright © 2020 - Robert A. Patzner, Department of Biosciences, Univ. Salzburg, Austria.
State: 2020-07-16
E-mail: robert.patzner@sbg.ac.at