Trypauchen vagina

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Burrowing goby
Trypauchen vagina (Bloch & Schneider, 1801).jpg
Illustration of Trypauchen vagina from 1910
FMIB 41135 Trypauchen wakae Jordan & Snyder.jpeg
Illustration of Trypauchen vagina (described here as Trypauchen wakae) from 1901
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gobiiformes
Family: Oxudercidae
Genus: Trypauchen
T. vagina
Binomial name
Trypauchen vagina
Synonyms [1]
  • Gobius vagina
    Bloch & J. G. Schneider, 1801
  • Gobioides ruber
    F. Hamilton, 1822
  • Trypauchen wakae
    D. S. Jordan & Snyder, 1901

Trypauchen vagina, commonly known as the burrowing goby, is a species of eel goby found in the Indo-Pacific region. It has an elongated body about 20 to 22 cm (7.9 to 8.7 in) in length. It is reddish-pink in color and possesses distinctive pouches in the upper edges of its gill covers. It lives in burrows in the silty and muddy bottoms of its marine and brackish habitats. It has reduced eyes that are entirely covered with skin and the anterior portion of its head is protected by thick flesh. Both adaptations aid it in digging its burrows.



T. vagina has an elongated body about 20 to 22 cm (7.9 to 8.7 in) in length. [1] [2] The anal, caudal, and two dorsal fins are fused together with membranous structures, forming a continuous margin around the posterior of the body. The pelvic fins are also completely fused together to form a cup-shaped suction disk. The pectoral fins have fifteen to twenty rays, with the upper rays longer than the lower rays. [3] [4]

The blunt snout, chin, and the area around the eyes are covered by thickened flesh that help it in digging. The mouth slants obliquely. It has two rows of sharp canine-like teeth on both jaws. The teeth on the outer rows are larger than those on the inner rows. The eyes are small and completely covered by skin. No barbels are present on the chin. On the upper edges of the gill covers are distinctive oval holes that open into pouch-like cavities. These pouches are present in only a few of the genera in the subfamily Amblyopinae (the eel gobies). Their function is unknown. [3] [4]

T. vagina is a blotchy reddish pink in coloration. The cheeks, the eye region, and the area behind the gills and above the pectoral fins are bright red. The fins are all colorless and translucent. [3]


T. vagina can be found in shallow marine and brackish waters of the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and the western Pacific Ocean, from Kuwait to New Caledonia. [1] [3] In 2011, T. vagina was discovered in the Mediterranean Sea as a Lessepsian migrant, having reached the region through the Suez Canal. [4] T. vagina has also been reported from South Africa. [1]


As its common name suggests, T. vagina lives in burrows in the silty or muddy bottoms of estuarine and coastal areas. It is omnivorous, mostly preying on small crustaceans that wander near its burrows. [3] [4]


T. vagina was first described as Gobius vagina by the German ichthyologists Marcus Elieser Bloch and Johann Gottlob Schneider in 1801. [5] It is the type species of the genus Trypauchen , which includes only one other species, Trypauchen pelaeos . The genus was established in 1837 by the French zoologist Achille Valenciennes. The generic name is derived from Ancient Greek τρύπα (trupa, "hole") and αυχενος (aukhenos, "neck"). [3] The specific name is from Latin vagina, meaning "sword sheath". [5]

T. vagina is classified under the subfamily Amblyopinae of the goby family Gobiidae. [3]

Related Research Articles

Gobiidae Family of fishes

Gobiidae is a family of bony fish in the order Gobiiformes, one of the largest fish families comprising more than 2,000 species in more than 200 genera, sometimes referred to as the "true gobies". Most of them are relatively small, typically less than 10 cm (3.9 in) in length. The Gobiidae includes some of the smallest vertebrates in the world, such as Trimmatom nanus and Pandaka pygmaea, Trimmatom nanus are under 1 cm long when fully grown, then Pandaka pygmaea standard length are 9mm (0.35 in),maximum known standard length are 11 mm (0.43 in). Some large gobies can reach over 30 cm (0.98 ft) in length, but that is exceptional. Generally, they are benthic, or bottom-dwellers. Although few are important as food for humans, they are of great significance as prey species for commercially important fish such as cod, haddock, sea bass, and flatfish. Several gobiids are also of interest as aquarium fish, such as the dartfish of the genus Ptereleotris. Phylogenetic relationships of gobiids have been studied using molecular data.

Eleotridae Family of fishes

Eleotridae is a family of fish commonly known as sleeper gobies, with about 34 genera and 180 species. 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. One of its genera, Caecieleotris, is troglobitic. 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.

Mudskipper Subfamily of fishes

Mudskippers are amphibious fish. They are of the family Oxudercidae and the subfamily Oxudercinae. There are 32 living species of mudskipper.

Steinitz prawn goby Species of fish

Amblyeleotris steinitzi, Steinitz' prawn goby or simply Steinitz' goby, is a species of small fish in the family Gobiidae. It lives in association with an alpheid shrimp and is found from the Red Sea through the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean.

Dwarf pygmy goby Species of fish

The dwarf pygmy goby or Philippine goby is a tropical species of fish in the subfamily Gobionellinae from brackish water and mangrove areas in Southeast Asia. It is one of the smallest fish species in the world. Males reach maturity at a standard length of 0.9 cm (0.35 in) and can reach up to 1.1 cm (0.43 in) in standard length, while the females can grow up to 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) in total length. Adults weigh around 4 milligrams (0.00015 oz). It is known as bia and tabios in the Philippines.

Longnose stingray Species of cartilaginous fish

The longnose stingray is a species of stingray in the family Dasyatidae, native to the western Atlantic Ocean from the southern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil. Found in coastal waters no deeper than 36 m (118 ft), this demersal species favors muddy or sandy habitats. The longnose stingray is characterized by its angular, rhomboid pectoral fin disc, moderately projecting snout, and whip-like tail with a dorsal keel and ventral fin fold. It typically grows to 1.25 m (4.1 ft) across and is brownish above and light-colored below.

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".

Pseudogobiopsis is a genus of fish in the goby family, Gobiidae. They are native to fresh and brackish waters of southern and southeastern Asia. The genus is mainly distinguished by the number and arrangement of fin rays and spines, headpores, and sensory papillae, the large mouths of the males, a fleshy or bony flange on the pectoral girdle, and the shape of the genital papilla.

Atlantic mudskipper Species of fish

The Atlantic mudskipper is a species of mudskipper native to fresh, marine and brackish waters of the tropical Atlantic coasts of Africa, including most offshore islands, through the Indian Ocean and into the western Pacific Ocean to Guam. The Greek scientific name Periophthalmus barbarus is named after the eyes that provide the Atlantic mudskipper with a wide field of vision. The Atlantic mudskipper is a member of the genus Periophthalmus, which includes oxudercine gobies that have one row of canine-like teeth.

<i>Oplopomus oplopomus</i> Species of fish

Oplopomus oplopomus, commonly known as the spinecheek goby, is a species of goby native to the Indo-Pacific region. They can grow to a maximum length of 10 centimetres (3.9 in). They inhabit coral reefs.

<i>Trypauchen</i> Genus of fishes

Trypauchen is a genus of burrowing gobies native to the Indo-Pacific region. It is classified under the subfamily Amblyopinae of the family Gobiidae. The name is derived from Ancient Greek τρύπα and αυχενος, referring to the distinctive opercular pouches of the members of the genus.

Trypauchen pelaeos is a species of eel goby found in Indochina and southern China. It is reddish in color and has an elongated body with the anal, caudal, and the two dorsal fins fused together with membranous structures. It is similar in appearance and habits to the closely related burrowing goby, Trypauchen vagina.

Elacatinus chancei, the shortstripe goby, is a species of ray-finned fish in the family Gobiidae. It lives inside or on the surface of a sponge and occurs in tropical waters in the west central Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas, the Antilles, and Venezuela.

<i>Brama</i> (fish) Genus of fishes

Brama is a genus of marine ray-finned fishes from the family Bramidae, the pomfrets. Currently, there are 8 species within the genus.

<i>Brachysomophis cirrocheilos</i> Species of fish

Brachysomophis cirrocheilos, also known as the stargazer snake eel, is a benthic marine fish belonging to the family Ophichthidae. The stargazer snake eel is a large-sized fish which grows up to 159 cm (63 in) long.

<i>Valenciennea helsdingenii</i> Species of fish

Valenciennea helsdingenii is a species of goby from the Indo-Pacific. It is commonly known as the twostripe goby, black-lined sleeper goby, or railway sleeper goby. It can grow up to a length of 25 cm (9.8 in) and is distinguishable by two prominent orange to black lines running longitudinally through its body.

<i>Sparisoma chrysopterum</i> Species of fish

Sparisoma chrysopterum is a species of parrotfish.

<i>Ophisternon bengalense</i> Species of fish

Ophisternon bengalense the Bengal eel, Bengal mudeel or onegill eel, is a species of fish in the family Synbranchidae. It is endemic to freshwater and brackish water rivers and swamps in the Oceania and South Asia. It is normally 100 cm in maximum length.

<i>Polydactylus sextarius</i> Species of fish

Polydactylus sextarius, the blackspot threadfin, is a species of marine ray-finned fish, a threadfin from the family Polynemidae which is native to the western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans.

<i>Arothron reticularis</i> Species of fish

Arothron reticularis, variously known as the reticulated pufferfish, reticulated blowfish or reticulated toadfish, is a ray-finned fish in the family Tetraodontidae. It is native to the tropical and sub-tropical Indo-Pacific region where its habitats include sandy and muddy seabeds, coral reefs, estuaries and mangrove areas.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Susan M. Luna & Nicolas Bailly. "Trypauchen vagina (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)". FishBase. Retrieved February 27, 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. Theodore Cantor (1850). "Catalogue of Malayan Fishes". Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 18: 983–1424.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Edward O. Murdy (2006). "A revision of the gobiid fish genus Trypauchen (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1343: 55–68.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Erhan Akamca; Sinan Mavruk; Caner Enver Ozyurt & Volkan Baris Kiyaga (2011). "First record of the Indo-Pacific burrowing goby Trypauchen vagina (Bloch and Schneider, 1801) in the North-Eastern Mediterranean Sea" (PDF). Aquatic Invasions. 6 (Supplement 1): S19–S21. doi: 10.3391/ai.2011.6.S1.004 .
  5. 1 2 Marcus Elieser Bloch & Johann Gottlob Schneider (1801). Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus CX Illustratum (in Latin). p.  73.