; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes)
A very large family of coastal-water fish. Most species have the pelvic fins united to form a sucking disc which is used to cling to hard objects on the sea floor. Unlike the clingfish (Gobiesocidae) the gobies have two dorsal fins, the first one being spiny. Gobies form an important part of the fish population of rocky shores, sea-grass beds, and coral reefs. Some species live in close association with other animals, e.g. sea urchins and shrimps. Most gobies are very small; Gobius vittatus (striped goby) of the Mediterranean does not exceed 4 cm. One of the largest gobies is G. giuris of the Indo-Pacific, which reaches a length of 50 cm. With about 800 species, Gobiidae is the largest family of marine fish, found in tropical to temperate waters world-wide.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.