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Round Goby

Photo by Center for Great Lakes and Aquatic Sciences Archive, University of Michigan, Bugwood.org

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Common Name: Round goby
Scientific Name: Neogobius melanostomus
Origin: Eurasia


The round goby is a small, soft-bodied fish with a distinctive black spot on the first dorsal fin. They have large, protruding eyes and range in length from 4″ to 10″. While juveniles are grey, adult round gobies have grey, black, brown, and olive green markings.


Round gobies inhabit both fresh and saltwater. They are a bottom dwelling species, preferring sandy or rocky shelves with low silting. They have spread throughout the Great Lakes and into the interior of the U.S.


The round goby is an aggressive fish that outcompetes natives for food, shelter, and nesting sites. They prey heavily on eggs, including those of many popular sport fish. They consume large amounts of invasive mussels containing toxins, posing the risk of bioaccumulation further up the food chain. They can survive in degraded ecosystems and serve as a host to many parasites.

Invasive Rank: http://www.nyis.info/user_uploads/95b7f_Neogobius%20melanostomus%20Ecological.pdf


While native predatory fish have begun to prey on round gobies, their populations still reach high numbers as a result of their rapid reproduction. Management includes the use of fish pesticides, physical barriers, and bioacoustic and pheromone traps.

Distribution: View Map

This species has been discovered in the FL- PRISM.

Invasive Rank

Fact Sheet