Fun Blue-banded Goby Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Nov 07, 2022 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Aug 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover blue-banded goby facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The blue-banded goby (Lythrypnus dalli) is just what it sounds like! It has the typical features of a goby, a red or orange body, and blue stripes or bands that run vertically along the spines. These animals prefer to live at the bottom of water bodies or aquariums with rocks, sea urchins, and coral reefs, looking for a hiding place. These short-tailed fishes have an amazing ability as they can change their sex!

When not amazing us with their weird powers, this fish is peaceful and tries to find food such as small fish and crustaceans which they break down using their teeth. They are a native to the eastern Pacific and the Gulf of California. This fish is also a recognized aquarium species and can be added to your pet family.

If you would like to read about more fishes, make sure to check out monkfish and Midas blenny here at Kidadl!

Blue-Banded Goby Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blue-banded goby?

The blue-banded goby from Catalina is a type of fish that is found in the eastern parts of the Pacific Ocean.

What class of animal does a blue-banded goby belong to?

The scientific term for the class that these fishes belong to is Actinopterygii, otherwise known as fish.

How many blue-banded gobies are there in the world?

There are no records that tell us the exact number of blue-banded gobies there are in the world currently. This is because they breed in large numbers and aquarium and tank varieties are bred in fisheries.

Where does a blue-banded goby live?

The blue-banded goby fish, like other gobies such as the round goby, is quite meek and dwells at the bottom of the ocean. It spends its lifetime hiding amongst reefs and sea urchins. This species is so obsessed with being able to find a hiding place between reefs that it never loses contact with these surfaces throughout its life.

When in an aquarium or tank, these fishes remain close to the rocky bottom of their home and try to hide as much as possible, like they would if they were in their natural habitat.

What is a blue-banded goby's habitat?

The blue-banded goby is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This species occurs the most in places such as the Gulf of California, Monterey Bay, and southern Peru. The temperatures of the water in these places suit these fishes the most and the densest populations are found in these regions.

In an aquarium, blue-banded gobies need warmer temperatures than other saltwater fish species and a rocky, reef environment to mirror their natural habitat.

Who do blue-banded gobies live with?

Blue-banded gobies do not and cannot thrive in large groups because this fish requires a hiding place of its own to feel safe. They become very territorial regarding their safe zone. These fishes usually live in close proximity with more of their own species, but never in a large school or far away from the reach of other family members.

How long does a blue-banded goby live?

The average range of life span of a blue-banded goby or Catalina goby is two to three years.

How do they reproduce?

The process of blue-banded goby reproduction is the same as most fish species. They breed through spawning. Once the female has been courted by the male, she lays her eggs in an empty shell or in the cavity between sea urchins and reefs. At least 600-2200 eggs are laid at one time. Blue-banded goby eggs are tiny and thousands could fit into your palm.

Once the eggs are laid, the female blue-banded goby leaves, and all the parental responsibilities are placed upon the male parent. The male blue-banded goby takes care of the eggs until hatching and even after the eggs have hatched. Young gobies are attached to the reefs before they mature and are ready to find their own hiding places and seek their own prey or mate.

One of the most interesting facts about the Catalina (blue-banded) goby is that this species has the ability to change its sex multiple times in its lifespan in order to maximize the chances of reproduction.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, the conservation status of the blue-banded goby (Lythrypnus dalli) or Catalina goby is Least Concern. This means that the population of this species is not likely to see any dip in the near or distant future.

Additionally, since they are also popular aquarium or tank fishes, they are also bred in fisheries. This ensures that the population is stable and you can have one or a few of these beautiful fishes as a pet if you so desire. However, the fact coral reefs are being degraded due to a global rise in temperatures does pose a serious threat to the habitat of gobies.

Blue-Banded Goby Fun Facts

What do blue-banded gobies look like?

The blue-banded goby or Catalina goby is a small reef or rock-dwelling fish with a red-colored body with blue stripes. These fishes have small fins and a small tail. The dorsal fins are longer in the male fish compared to the females.

The blue-banded goby lives amongst a heavy hiding place of coral reef and sea urchin.

How cute are they?

There is no doubt that this reef-dwelling and sex-changing species of fish is very cute.

How do they communicate?

There are no records that tell us how these fishes communicate with each other, except for nudging.

How big is a blue-banded goby?

The blue-banded goby can have an average length of 2-2.5 in (6-6.5 cm). For a better perspective, the olive flounder is about seven times the size of the Catalina goby, and the Congo tetra is roughly the same size or slightly bigger.

How fast can a blue-banded goby swim?

While there are no records that tell us the exact speed of this species of temperate fish, we can assume they are agile due to their small size.

How much does a blue-banded goby weigh?

The weight of the blue-banded goby from the eastern Pacific Ocean is negligible.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinguished names for the males and females of this species. They can be called a male blue-banded goby and a female blue-banded goby.

However, one way of telling them apart is that the males have a longer dorsal fin than the females.

What would you call a baby blue-banded goby?

Blue banded goby larvae are called fry, the same name that is used for all juvenile fishes.

What do they eat?

The Catalina goby or blue-banded goby feed on almost any small creature that is found at the bottom of the water body that it inhabits. The species often feed on small fishes and crustaceans, although almost all gobies also feed on planktons that are found in the habitat.

The main predators are larger fishes, mostly kelp bass.

Are they dangerous?

Blue-banded gobies are not dangerous at all. These fishes are territorial and may be aggressive towards other bottom-dwelling species of your aquarium or tank. If left alone with the rocks at the bottom of the aquarium or the reefs at the bottom of the ocean, these fishes are known to cause no harm.

Would they make a good pet?

It is undeniable that these gobies make amazing pets. It is a small fish species and the Catalina goby with its vibrant red body and blue stripes is absolutely ideal for any pet parent. If you are interested in having a Catalina goby or blue-banded goby as your next pet, you must keep in mind that the temperature of the tank must be quite lower than what is required with most saltwater fish species.

Other than that, both the males and females are quite peaceful and require the most basic and easily available food. If the bottom of your aquarium is rocky enough and has holes where these small fishes can hide, they will be more than happy. Depending upon species, a blue banded goby for sale usually costs between 17$-200$ depending upon their rarity.

Did you know...

A male red blue-banded goby has a longer dorsal fin than a female red blue-banded goby.

Any pet parent must note that these fishes need lower temperatures than most saltwater fish species.

These marine fishes belong to the family Gobiidae.

Can gobies change gender?

One of the most fascinating facts about the blue-banded goby is that this marine fish species has the ability to change its sex. Whilst most fish species can only change their sex in one direction, these gobies can change the sex in either direction for example a male can become a female and vice versa. They perform a sex change in order to ensure optimal levels of reproduction are reached.

Why do the blue-eyed goby, strawberry anemone, and blue-banded goby like to stay together?

Blue-eyed gobies, strawberry anemones or sea anemones, and blue-banded gobies prefer to live together because their natural habitat is the same. They all prefer temperate marine waters, and if kept in the same tank, they will not have any issue in terms of water temperature, hiding, or rock cover.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from African lungfish facts and redear sunfish facts pages.

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

Blue-Banded Goby Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Small fish and crustaceans

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

600-2200 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?


What habitat Do they Live In?

coral reefs and sea urchins

Where Do They Live?

eastern pacific, the gulf of california, monterey bay, and southern peru

How Long Were They?

2-2.5 in (6-6.5 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Lythrypnus dalli

What Do They Look Like?

Red and blue vertical stripes

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

predators and coral reef depletion

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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