goby, common name for a member of the family Gobiidae, small marine fishes familiar in shallow waters, especially along southern shores. Gobies may be either scaled or scaleless; all species have the ventral fins modified into a sucking disk, as in the clingfish of the family Gobiesocidae. The naked goby (3 in./7.5 cm) is found S of Cape Cod and the sharptail goby (6 in./15 cm) in brackish bays along the Atlantic coast. The sleeper, or guavina, occasionally grows large enough to be used as food. The round goby, native to the Black, Caspian, and Azov seas, has become a common pest species in the Great Lakes. On the Pacific coast the longjaw goby, or mudsucker, is a common bait fish. The most popular of many aquarium species is the bumblebee goby, native to S Asia. Gobies are classified in the phylum Chordata, class Osteichthyes, order Perciformes, family Gobiidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.