Saturday 9 March 2013

Whip Coral Goby

Image: Nick Hobgood
Really, if there's a thing to rest on, there's a goby resting there.

Image: prilfish
Gobiidae is a huge family containing more than 2,000 species...

Image: prilfish
But most of the actual gobies are tiny.

Image: PacificKlaus
We've seen before how Gorgonian and Sea Pen corals often have a few gobies crawling all over them like wee, beady-eyed leeches. Whip Corals are no different.

The gobies even have their pelvic fins fused into a kind of suction cup. This lets them relax on the coral and not get immediately knocked off by the slightest current. Matching their colour against that of their host gives them some pretty good camouflage, too. Now they can relax even more!

Image: prilfish
They mainly snap up plankton as it drifts by, which is exactly what the coral does. However, at least one of them is a little more rude - it plucks out polyps from the coral and lays its eggs in the space left behind!

Image: prilfish
Naughty, little goby fish.


TexWisGirl said...

they're adorable! :)

Joseph JG said...

I know, those beady eyes!