Goldspot Goby – Gnatholepis thompsoni

The Goldspot Goby is a species in the large clade of Percomorpha and thus belongs to the superclass of the bony fish.

Goldspot Goby - Gnatholepis thompsoni Osteichthyes bony fish diving canary islands species atlantic ocean
Goldspot Goby – Gnatholepis thompsoni


The Goldspot Goby has an elongated, almost eel-like body shape. The base colour is silvery and head, body and fins have many reddish-brown dots. Most striking is a yellow point over the side fin and a black stripe which passes through its eyes.
Gnatholepis thompsoni is up to 9cm long and the male fish are slightly larger than the female.

Habitat and Distribution

The Goldspot Goby prefers to stay on to small sandy areas close to rocky reefs. It can be found down to a depth of 50m.

When diving in the Canaries you can often observe it, although it is sometimes hard to spot because of its size.

Its distribution area extends in the western Atlantic from South Florida, along North Carolina, Bermuda and the Lesser Antilles. It is also found in the eastern Atlantic around Madeira, Cape Verde, Saint Helena and São Tomé.


Gnatholepis thompsoni feeds on organisms and organic material such as small crustaceans, algae, small invertebrates and worms by taking sand into their mouths and filtering it through their gills.

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