The Gobioid Fishes of North Carolina (Pisces: Gobioidei)
Twenty-seven species in four families (Eleotrididae, Gobiidae, Ptereleotridae, and Microdesmidae) of gobioid fishes occur in North Carolina waters. Fourteen species (52%) are mostly restricted to a variety of shallow estuarine habitats: Awaous banana (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1837), rare in tidal freshwater; Bathygobius soporator (Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1837), rare on muddy bottoms; Dormitator maculatus (Bloch, 1792), common in low salinity marshes; Eleotris amblyopsis (Cope, 1871), rare in low to high salinity marshes; Erotelis smaragdus (Valenciennes, 1837), rare in medium to high salinity; Evorthodus lyricus (Girard, 1858), rare in low to high salinity marshes; Gobioides broussonneti Lacepede, 1800, rare in low salinity creeks; Ctenogobius boleosoma (Jordan and Gilbert, 1882), common in high salinity marshes; Ctenogobius shufeldti (Jordan and Eigenmann, 1886) common in low salinity to freshwater creeks; Ctenogobius stigmaticus (Poey, 1860), rare in high salinity, sand/shell bottom; Gobionellus oceanicus (Pallas, 1770), common in muddy, high salinity creeks and bays; Gobiosoma bosc (Lacepede, 1798), abundant in muddy creeks and bays, low to medium salinity; Microdesmus longipinnis (Weymouth, 1910), rare on mud/clay bottoms; and Microgobius thalassinus (Jordan and Gilbert, 1883), abundant in the same habitats as G. bosc. Ten species (37%) occur only on or near offshore hard bottoms in depths > 15 m: Bollmannia sp., Coryphopterus glaucofraenum Gill, 1863, Coryphopterus punctipectophorus Springer, 1960, Evermannichthys spongicola (Radcliffe, 1917), Gnatholepis thompsoni Jordan, 1902, Gobiosoma xanthiprora Böhlke and Robins, 1968, Lythrypnus phorellus Böhlke and Robins, 1960, Lythrypnus spilus Böhlke and Robins, 1960, Priolepis hipoliti (Metzelaar, 1922), and Ptereleotris calliurus (Bean, 1882). Ctenogobius saepepallens Gilbert and Randall, 1968 and Microgobius carri Fowler, 1945 occur in offshore waters on sand/shell bottoms. Gobiosoma ginsburgi Hildebrand and Schroeder, 1928 occurs from mesohaline estuaries (usually on shell substrates) to offshore hard bottoms. The offshore gobies are generally sub-tropical/tropical, reef-oriented species, while the inshore estuarine gobioids are most similar to the warm-temperate Gulf of Mexico fauna. A key to all gobioids of the South Atlantic Bight (33 species) is presented as well as distribution/habitat data on those species from North Carolina waters.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2004
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