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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 09, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Marble Goby For Kids

Learn about the marbled appearance of the species from these marble goby facts.

The marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) is a fish from the family of Butidae, distributed almost in every region of Southeast Asia. The fish is locally known as 'Pa bu', in the local dialect of Laos, and is very popular. It is carnivorous and is a bottom feeder that prefers to stay in freshwater rivers, brackish rivers, rocks, or plants. 

The marble goby is culturally very popular in the southeast where they have a lot of cultural importance and are usually seen as a form of wealth. It is eaten in a variety of dishes in Thailand, Malaysia, and other countries for its clean white meat and is usually priced high. People raise these fish at home in cement tanks, aquariums, and ponds. Aquaculture is in high demand for foods where fish is seen as a good source of income for the coming future. 

If you love reading about new species then check out our catfish facts and rainbow trout facts pages for more similar content. 

Marble Goby Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a marble goby?

The marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) is a type of freshwater fish from the family of Butidae under the animal kingdom.

What class of animal does a marble goby belong to?

The marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) belongs to the Actinopterygii class of animals from the Butidae family under the genus species Oxyeleotris. 

How many marble gobies are there in the world?

The current population count of the marble goby is not known but there have been reports of decline from several of its natural habitats even though it is considered a widespread fish in Southeast Asia. 

Where does a marble goby live?

Marble gobies (Oxyeleotris marmorata) are found in abundance around the southeast Asian countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Darussalam, and Singapore. They are also found in the Indo-China region across all brackish and freshwater bodies. They prefer freshwater bodies with rocky bottoms.

What is a marble goby's habitat?

A marble goby's (Oxyeleotris marmorata) habitat consists of freshwaters and brackish water systems across the river basins of Mekong and Chao Praya basin in Cambodia. They are also found in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia with similar water bodies like rivers, lakes, swamps, ponds, tributaries, and even reservoirs.

Who does marble goby live with?

The marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) is docile but very territorial. They should never be kept with smaller fish as they will eat them so they are usually kept alone with similar-sized fish. Even in their natural habitats, they usually live well alongside large-sized fish. 

How long does a marble goby live?

The average life expectancy of a marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) is estimated to be about two to three years. 

How do they reproduce?

The clutch size can vary from one female to another, which in turn, determines the larval size. The breeding season starts from spring and can go up to late summer or winter. Breeding grounds consist of sandy shallow waters or sometimes brackish hypersaline waters where they build the male builds a nest by cleaning the inside of a bivalve shell and covering it with sand. The pairs defend their nest site from predators. Eggs can hatch in different intervals of time but it's usually within three to four days. The fish are polygynous and leave the nest once the eggs are hatched. It has been reported that some females do not accept mating with a larger male because of their cannibalistic nature. 

What is their conservation status?

The official status of the marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) is as a Vulnerable species even though it is a widespread and abundant fish. 

Marble Goby Fun Facts

What do marble goby look like?

The marbled goby is very popular for its ornamental features and shiny appearance.

The Marble goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata) is one of the biggest known fishes from freshwater lakes. They are quite lazy fish that do not search for food in the daytime but rather just sit and wait for prey to come into their mouth.  They have a torpedo-like shape and a flat head. The most distinct feature about their appearance is their oblique mouth, dorsal fins, and rounded caudal fin. Their body is dark brown with dark shades of a camouflaged marble appearance. Their body color may also range from brown to black to red or sometimes even be spotted. Their body structure looks like several plates that set them apart from other species and give them the extra ornamental feature that they are known for. 

How cute are they?

The marbled goby is cute with its distinctive range of colors and plated fin structures.  It is a great addition to an aquarium with its ornamental appearance and is usually docile, which just adds to its cuteness.  

How do they communicate?

Similar to other breeds of fish, the marble goby fish uses body language as a means of communication. They use their fins and tails or conduct indirect ways of chemical signals for communication. 

How big is a marble goby?

The goby fish is estimated to grow to a maximum length of 12-26 in (30-65 cm) but hasn't been seen above 12 in (30 cm) for the last few years. 

How fast can a marble goby swim?

Although no solid data is available for the large goby fish's speed or swim rate, we do have reports of it being a fair swimmer in freshwater lakes or brackish water conditions. They also swim quite well in tanks and prefer being in the bottom. 

How much does a marble goby weigh?

The average weight size of the marble goby is around 0.05-0.11 lb (26-50 g). 

What are the male and female names of the species?

The female and male marble goby haven't been given any sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby marble goby?

A baby marble goby is called a fry. 

What do they eat?

The marble goby's diet consists of bloodworms, small earthworms, small and large fish, prawns, earthworms, plants, mussels, silversides, crabs, aquatic insects, and other similar foods.

Are they dangerous?

Gobies are usually shy and well-natured but these fishes are quite territorial and predatory, usually lurking in the aquarium bottom waiting to ambush prey and hunt food. This makes it quite dangerous for its small tank mates, but other than that, they are not dangerous to humans. 

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, being intricately beautiful and a great addition to the water environment, the marble goby is one of the most popular aquarium pets for commercial use. They are well-behaved, sociable, and not fussy eaters, making them a good choice for an aquarium buddy. 

Did you know...

Marbled gobies are some of the easiest fish to catch, even though they are big and powerful. What makes them an easy catch is their greedy nature. The fish does not like hunting but waits for the prey to come in instead. One of the best ways to catch a Marbled goby is by setting up an easy food for them to catch and pulling them all in together when they are busy feasting. Live goldfish are often used as an effective bait. You can set up a place of segment pipes where you leave the bait and wait for them to come in. This must be done at night since these fish do not hunt in the morning. 

What do you feed a marble goby?

Even though the marbled goby is strictly carnivorous, if kept as pets together, it is best to train them to consume dried pellet food. They can also be offered a variety of meat-based diets including blood worms, small earthworms, and similar worms while small fishes like prawns and lancetfish may also be fed. However, make sure that you do not overfeed these fish as they are very greedy. Also, make sure that the marble goby is only fed once a day. 

What animals do goby fish live on?

Marble gobies prey on smaller fishes like dwarf fish, tetras, guppies, zebrafish, and swordtails. They eat prawns, insects, crabs, and other similar vertebrates in their habitat. Anything that fits in their mouth is considered prey which is why they must be kept with similar-sized species in an aquarium so that they do not attack them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including barracuda facts and yellowfin tuna facts for kids

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable marble goby coloring pages.

Main image by Holger Krisp.

Second image by Roberto Pillon.

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