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Mogurnda mogurnda.png
Mogurnda mogurnda
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gobiiformes
Family: Eleotridae
Bonaparte, 1835

Eleotridae is a family of fish commonly known as sleeper gobies, with about 34 genera and 180 species. [1] Most species are found in the tropical Indo-Pacific region, but there are also species in subtropical and temperate regions, warmer parts of the Americas and near the Atlantic coast in Africa. While many eleotrids pass through a planktonic stage in the sea and some spend their entire lives in the sea; as adults, the majority live in freshwater streams and brackish water. [2] One of its genera, Caecieleotris , is troglobitic. [3] They are especially important as predators in the freshwater stream ecosystems on oceanic islands such as New Zealand and Hawaii that otherwise lack the predatory fish families typical of nearby continents, such as catfish. Anatomically, they are similar to the gobies (Gobiidae), though unlike the majority of gobies, they do not have a pelvic sucker. [2]

Like the true gobies, they are generally small fish that live on the substrate, often amongst vegetation, in burrows, or in crevices within rocks and coral reefs. Although goby-like in many ways, sleeper gobies lack the pelvic fin sucker and that, together with other morphological differences, is used to distinguish the two families. The Gobiidae and Eleotridae likely share a common ancestor and they are both placed in the order Gobiiformes, along with a few other small families containing goby-like fishes. [2]

Dormitator and Eleotris , two of the most widespread and typical genera, include a variety of species that inhabit marine, estuarine and freshwater habitats. Among the largest members of the family are predatory species such as the bigmouth sleeper (Gobiomorus dormitor) at up to 90 cm (3.0 ft) from freshwater near the West Atlantic region [4] and the fat sleeper (Dormitator maculatus), which grows to 70 cm (2.3 ft) and is widely found in fresh to brackish and shallow marine waters of the southeastern United States and Mexico, [5] However, most are much smaller, such as the fresh- and brackish-water species from Australia and New Guinea, including Hypseleotris , known locally as gudgeons (not to be confused with the Eurasian freshwater cyprinid Gobio gobio , also known as the gudgeon and after which the Australian sleeper gobies were likely named). [6] A few of these, such as the empire gudgeon (H. compressa) and peacock gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda), are sometimes kept in aquariums. The smallest in the family are the Amazonian Leptophilypnion with a standard length of less than 1 cm (0.4 in). [7]


Eleotris oxycephala Eleotrinae oxycephala(Yaizu,Shizuoka,Japan,2007).jpg
Eleotris oxycephala
Ratsirakia legendrei Ratsirakia legendrei 01.jpg
Ratsirakia legendrei
Tateurndina ocellicauda Tateurndina ocellicauda male DG.jpg
Tateurndina ocellicauda

The family has been divided into three subfamilies: Butinae, Eleotrinae and Milyeringinae. [1] However, because of the deep divergence between the three, some authorities have recommended splitting them into separate families: Butidae, Eleotridae and Milyeringidae. [8] [9] The 5th edition of Fishes of the World follows this classification and this means that the following genera are currently included within the Eleotridae. [10] However, the family Xenisthmidae is regarded as a synonym of the Eleotridae, according to the 5th Edition of Fishes of the World. [11]

Related Research Articles

Western carp gudgeon Species of fish

The western carp gudgeon is one of several carp gudgeon species. Carp gudgeons are very small perciform fish found in the Australian Murray-Darling River system, mainly in lowland environments, but some have been observed in upland environments. They are often found in small creeks, as well as billabongs and the edges of larger rivers. They prefer water 1 to 2 m deep with aquatic weed and structure provided by rocks or sunken timber.

Collared wrigglers are perciform fishes in the family Xenisthmidae. They are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, where they are mostly reef-dwelling.

Gudgeon (fish) Common name for several species of fish

Gudgeon is the common name for a number of small freshwater fish of the families Butidae, Cyprinidae, Eleotridae or Ptereleotridae. Most gudgeons are elongate, bottom-dwelling fish, many of which live in rapids and other fast moving water.

Crazy fish Species of fish

Butis butis, the crazy fish, duckbill sleeper, or upside-down sleeper, is a species of sleeper goby that are native to brackish and freshwater coastal habitats of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean from the African coast to the islands of Fiji. They prefer well-vegetated waters and can frequently be found in mangrove swamps. They are small, drably-colored fish, reaching a maximum length of only 15 cm (5.9 in). They are predatory and are known for their behavior of swimming vertically – or even upside down – while hunting.

<i>Hypseleotris</i> Genus of fishes

Hypseleotris is a genus of fishes in the family Eleotridae. Most are from fresh water in Australia and New Guinea, but species in fresh and brackish water are found around islands in the western Indian Ocean, southern and eastern Africa, southern and eastern Asia, and Pacific islands. The largest species reaches a length of 12 cm (4.7 in). They are sometimes seen in the aquarium trade; especially H. compressa. In Australia they are known as carp gudgeons.

Milyeringa is a genus of blind cavefish from the Cape Range and Barrow Island, northwestern Australia. Although traditionally considered to belong to the family Eleotridae, studies show that they represent a distinct and far-separated lineage together with the Typhleotris cavefish from Madagascar, leading some to move them to their own family, Milyeringidae. The generic name is taken from Milyering which is 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Vlamingh Head in the North West Cape of Western Australia, the type locality for Milyeringa veritas.

Gobiiformes Order of fishes

The Gobiiformes are an order of fish that includes the gobies and their relatives. The order, which was previously considered a suborder of Perciformes, is made up of about 2,211 species that are divided between seven families. Phylogenetic relationships of the Gobiiformes have been elucidated using molecular data. Gobiiforms are primarily small species that live in marine water, but roughly 10% of these species inhabit fresh water. This order is composed chiefly of benthic or burrowing species; like many other benthic fishes, most gobiiforms do not have a gas bladder or any other means of controlling their buoyancy in water, so they must spend most of their time on or near the bottom. Gobiiformes means "Goby-like".

Dorothea's wriggler, Allomicrodesmus dorotheae, is a species of fish in the monotypic genus Allomicrodesmus which is regarded by some authorities as being in the family Xenisthmidae, the wriggler family, but in the 5th edition of Fishes of the World this is treated as a synonym of the family Eleotridae, sleeper gobies. It is 5 cm (2.0 in) in length. It is known from just two specimens, one from the Great Barrier Reef and the other from the Marshall Islands. It has been collected from a depth of around 10 m (33 ft) in a channel in a reef. The specific name honours Dorothea Bowers Schultz, the wife of Leonard Peter Schultz, who illustrated the monograph in which this species is described, although not this species.

<i>Xenisthmus</i> Genus of fishes

Xenisthmus is the most well-known genus in the family Xenisthmidae,which is regarded as a synonymous with the Eleotridae, a part of Gobiiformes. These small to very small fish are known as wrigglers, and live in reefs and among rubble in the Indo-Pacific.

Rotuma lewisi, or Lewis's wriggler, is a species of fish in the family Xenisthmidae, which is regarded as a synonymous with the Eleotridae. Rotuma is a monotypic genus. The generic name refers to the volcanic island of Rotuma, north of Fiji while the specific name honours Anthony D. Lewis, a Fisheries Officer of the Government of Fiji who supported Springer's field work in Fiji. It has been recorded from Fiji, Tonga, the Santa Cruz Islands, the Comoros Islands, and the Chesterfield Islands.

Paraxenisthmus springeri is a species of fish in the genus Paraxenisthmus of the Xenisthmidae (wriggler) family, which is regarded as a synonymous with the Eleotridae, from the West Pacific. Its specific name honours the American ichthyologist Victor G. Springer of the U.S. National Museum for his contributions to fish systematics.

Leptophilypnion is a genus of tiny fishes in the family Eleotridae endemic to the Amazon Basin in South America. At less than 1 cm (0.4 in) in standard length they are the smallest sleeper gobies and among the smallest fish. The larger Microphilypnus sleeper gobies are also found in the Amazon, and sometimes occur together with Leptophilypnion. The bottom-dwelling Leptophilypnion are typically found in shallow, stagnant or slow-flowing water among soft debris, leaf-litter or water plants.

Gymnoxenisthmus tigrellus, is a species of family Xenisthmidae, regarded as a synonym of the Eleotridae. This species is endemic to Red Sea occurring near an unnamed island in Farasan Archipelago, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia where it is found on a narrow reef flat at 8 metres (26 ft) depth. the area consisting of a sandy slope with patches of corals and near a rock face of 3 metres (9.8 ft) in height which had small caves and rock shelters. This species is the only known member of its genus.

Milyeringa justitia, commonly known as the Barrow cave gudgeon, is a species of fish in the family Milyeringidae endemic to groundwater systems (aquifers) of Barrow Island, around 50 km off the Pilbara coast in Western Australia. This troglobitic species has a pale body, lacking in pigment, and it is eyeless and blind, using sensory papillae located on the head and body to allow it to feed and move around in total darkness. The specific name justitia is Latin for "justice" and was given by the describers to complement the specific name of Milyeringa veritas which means "truth" in the hope that “As truth and justice are supposed to go together, we name this species justitia, from the Latin for justice, in the hope that justice helps the species to survive on Barrow Island, which has been an oilfield since 1967 and is most recently the site of the Gorgon Gas Hub development.” Very little is known about M. justitia as between 2002 and 2013 only six specimens were collected but its biology is assumed to be similar to that of M. veritas.

Caecieleotris morrisi, also known as the Oaxaca cave sleeper is a species of troglobitic fish in the family Eleotridae found in a single cave system beneath Presa Miguel Alemán reservoir, northern State of Oaxaca in Mexico. This species is the only member of its genus.

Butidae Family of fishes

Butidae is a family of sleeper gobies in the order Gobiiformes. The family was formerly classified as a subfamily of the Eleotridae but the 5th Edition of Fishes of the World classifies it as a family in its own right. Molecular phylogenetic analyses have demonstrated that the Butidae are a sister clade to the clade containing the families Gobiidae and Gobionellidae and that the Eleotridae is a sister to both of these clades. This means that the Eloetridae as formerly classified was paraphyletic and that its subfamilies should be raised to the status of families.

Milyeringidae Family of fishes

Milyeringidae, the blind cave gobies, is a small family of gobies, in the order Gobiiformes. There are two genera and six species within the family, which is considered to be a subfamily of the Eleotridae by some authorities. Milyeringidae includes one genus (Milyeringa) restricted to caves in the North West Cape region of Australia and the other (Typhleotris) to underground water systems in Madagascar. They are all troglobitic species and have lost their eyes.

Prosanta Chakrabarty

Prosanta Chakrabarty is an American ichthyologist and professor of ichthyology, evolution and systematics at Louisiana State University. He studied at McGill University where he received a bachelor of science in Applied Zoology and at the University of Michigan where he obtained his PhD in Ecology and Evolution.Among other professional positions he was the Program Director for the National Science Foundation and is currently the Secretary of the American Society of Ichthyologist and Herpetologist. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016, and a TED Senior Fellow in 2018. He was named an Elected Fellow of the AAAS for "distinguished contributions to evolutionary biology, focusing on the bioluminescent systems and historical biogeography of freshwater fishes, and for effectively communicating science to the public."

Belobranchus segura is a species of eleotrid sleeper goby which has been found in Indonesia on Halmahera, in Papua Barat and also on the Solomon Islands. It is an anadromous species in which the eggs are laid over rocky and gravel bottoms in freshwater streams. The free-swimming larvae then drift downstream to the sea where they undergo a planktonic stage before migrating up streams to mature and breed. It feeds on small crustaceans and fish. The specific name honours the French hydrobiologist Gilles Segura for his contribution to the study of fish faunas.

<i>Thalasseleotris</i> Genus of fishes

Thalasseleotris is a genus of gobies comprising two species in the family Thalasseleotrididae from the south-western Pacific Ocean in the seas off Australia and New Zealand. The generic name is derived from the Greek Thalassa meaning "sea" and the generic name Eleotris as at the time it was named the genus was considered to be in the family Eleotridae.


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