Dwarf Goby

Glossogobius nanus
Dwarf Goby - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Glossogobius nanus
Family Goby / Gobiidae
Size Up to 4.3 cm (1.69 in)
Weight A few grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Freshwater streams & creeks sandy, gravel & rocky bottoms
Depth Range 0 - 3 m (10 ft)
Dwarf Goby Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The dwarf goby is a small, freshwater fish found in far north Queensland.
  • It has a distinctive rounded snout, and its body is usually a pale beige or grey colour with darker markings along the sides. The male dwarf goby is typically more brightly coloured than the female, with a blue-green body and red fins.
  • It is an omnivorous fish, feeding on a variety of small invertebrates and algae.
  • The dwarf goby is capable of surviving in water with low oxygen levels, thanks to its ability to breathe air using a specialised organ called the labyrinth organ.
  • They are often found in association with other small fish, such as pygmy perch and tadpole goby, which may help provide protection against predators.
  • The female dwarf goby lays up to 200 eggs in a nest created by the male.
  • The dwarf goby is known to engage in a behaviour known as “sneaking,” where a smaller male will sneak into the nest of a larger male and fertilise the eggs.
  • Their lifespan is estimated to be around 2-3 years.
Species Interaction


The dwarf goby is a popular aquarium fish due to its small size and peaceful nature. It does well with other small non-aggressive fish.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Gobiiformes

Family: Gobiidae

Genus: Glossogobius

Species: Glossogobius nanus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Dwarf Goby in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This means that the species is not considered to be at significant risk of extinction in its native range.

Dwarf Goby
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: No

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

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