- Species Information
The Okinawa goby or yellow clown goby, (Gobiodon okinawae, Sawara, Arai, & Abe, 1972) makes an adorable addition to most reef tanks and is a great choice for the small reef aquarium. Its bold coloration and perky personality makes up for its tiny size. In the wild, clown gobies are found perching on Acropora coral, using its branches for protection and feeding on its mucus and tissues as well as small crustaceans. If housed in a reef tank, it will generally choose to hide in Acropora if any is available. They have also been known to nip at other small polyp stony corals. These activities are rarely vigorous enough to cause any serious coral damage, however their constant perching may irritate patches of coral and cause small “dead spots.” If no coral is present, these fish will hide among rocks and will feed readily on most prepared foods. At our Sustainable Islands project, we feed Okinawa gobies our hatchery diet, cyclopeeze, and Spirulina brine.
Physical Characteristics– The Okinawa goby has a rounded head with a tapered body. It has a bold, bright yellow coloration throughout its body and small black eyes. It can sometimes be confused with the citron goby (Gobiodon citrinus) but lacks the thin vertical blue lines on its face.
Temperament-These fish are extremely peaceful and should be housed with peaceful tankmates. They will get along with other clown gobies but may fight with others of their species in a small tank. As long as the tank is large enough, a group of these gobies will eventually form pairs and claim territories. The yellow clown goby is hermaphroditic, born female with some individuals turning into males. Because of this, these fish will readily spawn in captivity. Very aggressive tankmates should be avoided, though these small fish do have built in protection- a noxious slime coat.
Size– Clown gobies are known for their petite size- reaching a maximum size of 1.5”.
Diet- In the wild, clown gobies are found perching on Acropora coral, using its branches for protection and feeding on its mucus and tissues as well as small crustaceans. At our Sustainable Islands project, we feed Okinawa gobies our Hatchery Diet, cyclopeeze, and Spirulina brine.
Distribution– These gobies are found throughout the Western Pacific Ocean, from Southern Japan to Australia.