Fun Tidewater Goby Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 22, 2022 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Tidewater goby facts, found in sandy bottoms.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.1 Min

Let us explore one of the small-sized goby species, which are habitats of salinity distribution. These fish are found in shallow water less than 3 ft (91cm) and can reach maximum depths of 7.6 ft (2.3 m).

This federally endangered species, tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi, is a cute tiny bottom-dwelling fish found in estuaries of California, creeks, and big lagoon. These fish are an essential food source for many sea shorebirds, piscivorous birds, and California halibut (large-tooth flounder).

Therefore, they play a vital role and are a significant food source for many estuaries creatures.

Furthermore, these fish can survive in extreme salinity waters (0-42 ppt) and extreme temperatures 46F- 87F (7.8-30.6 C). And one of the fascinating features about these fish is though they can survive in natural pools with deficient oxygen levels, they cannot handle naturally occurring intense water pressures.

To know more interesting information about this species, read this fun article. Don't forget to check out these toadfish facts and chum salmon facts for more.

Tidewater Goby Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tidewater goby?

Tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi is small-sized salinity fish that is one of the species of the goby found in lagoons of marshes and streams and creeks along the coast of California.

What class of animal does a tidewater goby belong to?

Tidewater goby belongs to the Actinopterygii class with the binomial name Eucyclogobius newberryi. The species that belong to this class are ray-finned fish.

How many tidewater gobies are there in the world?

Though the exact number of these species is unknown, this fish species native of California was earlier estimated in 124 different locations; among them, 54 locations are secured, but the population reduced to 96 locations.

Where does a tidewater goby live?

The tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi was found in the past only in California range from Tiles Slough (mouth of the Smith River, Del Norte County) to Agua Hedionda Lagoon (Northern San Diego County). These species are also found in other locations along with historic ranges because of changes in the water quality.

These species are now primary habitats of low salinity water lagoons situated in California.

The distribution of these species is rare from Northern Sonoma County to Del Norte County. The salt marsh and estuaries do not occur naturally in these habitats and are absent in Humboldt Bay, Point Arena, and rarely found in Big Lagoon.

What is a tidewater goby's habitat?

A native of California, this tidewater goby is located in waters of estuaries, coastal lagoons, and marshes of brackish water areas and absent in areas where the coastline is steep and streams that do not form lagoons or estuaries.

Natural dispersion or with the help of the human reintroduction process, the tidewater gobies can relocate habitats when favorable habitat conditions are restored.

All life stages of these tidewater gobies are found in lagoons in areas of low to medium salinity.

Who do tidewater gobies live with?

Tidewater gobies live in stock forms in loose groups. The groups range in small groups of less than a dozen, occasionally large groups of hundreds of individuals.

How long does a tidewater goby live?

Tidewater goby is an annual fish with a short life span. The maximum lifespan of these species is around one year.

How do they reproduce?

Reproduction and spawning occur year-round. During the peak time (late April to early May), male gobies commence their activities by digging vertical nesting burrow 3.5-8 in (8.9-20.3 cm) deep by shutting the burrows off the water with mucous and sand grains.

The female becomes aggressive and tries to seduce the male into opening his burrow.

If a female goby is successful, it will lay approximately 300-500 eggs, these eggs stick to the burrow walls till hatching. Male gobies take care of these eggs by staying near the nesting burrow for 9-11 days until they hatch.

The sex role is slightly reversed in tidewater goby, where females play an active role more than males in searching for a potential partner.

Once the embryos are hatched, they change into a planktonic form where the males stop taking care of the young. Both males and females breed only with one member of the opposite sex per single spawning.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi Near Threatened. Tidewater goby populations are threatened due to loss of their habitat because of diversions of water flows, channelization 0f streams and estuaries, and alteration of water flows and natural sediment flows.

Tidewater Goby Fun Facts

What do tidewater gobies look like?

The tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi is a small-sized grey brownish fish with a standard length of 2 in (5 cm).

With wide eyes close to snout, blunt tail, has a large oblique mouth, large pectoral fins, and pelvic fins attached to the chest and belly.

During breeding, males are a transparent species with mottled brownish upper surface; females have a black color on the body, dorsal and anal fins with head, tail, pectoral and pelvic fins in grey or brown color.

The unique characteristics of tidewater gobies are the first spinous dorsal fin, which is triangular with transparent, yellowish, or whitish colors.

Tidewater gobies, grey brownish fish, wide eyes, and blunt tail.

How cute are they?

Tidewater gobies are cute small size species with transparent colors. These are an adorable species with dark and large eyes, sizeable oblique mouth, dorsal and anal fins.

How do they communicate?

There is no information on how this species communicates; in general, fishes communicate through magnetic reception, electroreception, mechanoreception, chemoreception, vision.

How big is a tidewater goby?

Tidewater gobies are small fish with a standard length of 2 in (5 cm). It is relatively four times smaller in size when compared to black goby with a standard length of 7 in (18 cm).

How fast can a tidewater goby swim?

Though the exact speed of these minute tidewater species is unknown, they are swift swimmers.

How much does a tidewater goby weigh?


What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species are referred to as male tidewater goby and female tidewater goby, respectively. The male and female species are easily distinguished.

Male tidewater gobies are transparent ones with mottled upper surface found near breeding burrows. On the other side female tidewater goby is dark-color fish with a black body and dorsal and anal fins. Females gobies have a high fecundity capacity by producing 300-500 eggs per batch.

What would you call a baby tidewater goby?

Baby tidewater goby is named juvenile. Juvenile shares habitat with other fishes based on the sea-level distribution can move as far as 7.45 miles (12 km). The Ten Mile River, Santa Barbara County, and rarely in some parts of streams in California Golden beavers provide the ideal water habitat for tidewater gobies.

What do they eat?

The species tidewater goby is a very tiny fish that measures up to 2 in (5 cm)in length. This bottom-dwelling fish habitat in stream mouths, brackish and salty waters, and in estuaries of California.

These fish are opportunistic feeders. The primary prey items of these wetland habitats fish are tiny water creatures such as amphipods, shrimps, insect larvae, local insects.

Some tidewater gobies are observed feeding on seasonally available mud snails, reflecting its adaptive behavior. Adult gobies feed mostly at the time of dawn and dusk, whereas juvenile goby fishes feed around the clock.

Are they rare

No, the tidewater goby Eucyclogobius newberryi is not rare species. A large population is currently occurring in Lake Earl, with a small population in Big Lagoon and Stone Lagoon..

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, gobies are very tiny fishes  like neon tetra, with miniature structure will be a good choice in your aquariums.

Did you know...

As per reports, 74% of tidewater gobies disappeared from coastal lagoons south of Morro Bay.

The suitable water temperatures for nesting are 75.6 - 79.6°F. (24.2 - 26.4°C).

Is the tidewater goby endangered?

Tidewater goby is not extinct but federally endangered, but as per IUCN, this fish species is Near Threatened. Though the population of these species is secure in its range, their extinction is threatened shortly because of some human threats such as sand bar breaching, pollution effects in lagoons, draining of wetlands.

The other threats to tidewater goby include a change in water quality, loss of habitat.

As per U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service information, the main threats in the Santa Clara watershed include water diversions, sewage treatment effluent, agricultural discharge, and exotic species that affected the size and distribution of these species.

Restoration programs and saving its habitats from pollutions will better help to save these species.

How did the tidewater goby get its name?

The scientific name of the tidewater goby is Eucyclogobius newberryi.Eucyclogobius (also called as genus name) refers to scales translated to -true cycloid goby, whereas newberryi is named in honor of famous American geologist and physician J.S.Newberry.

And if you encounter a tidewater goby, it is advisable to take good care in your aquarium. They are easy to maintain as pets and provide a suitable habitat environment for its survival.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these rockfish facts and monkfish facts pages.

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


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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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