Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Bluebanded Goby

Lythrypnus dalli


Fun Facts

    These peaceful fish are often territorial with members of their own species.

    The bluebanded goby is also known as the Catalina goby.



With a bright orange-red body and three to nine electric blue vertical stripes, the bluebanded goby seems to glow with the fluorescence of a neon light.  Lythrypnus dalli belongs to the family Gobiidae, a group of small fish with an estimated 2,000 species occurring worldwide in both fresh and saltwater environments.  Recognized by an elongated robust body and two dorsal fins, males have longer dorsal spines and a suction-like disc that is formed by the connection of its pelvic fins.
Bluebanded gobies can often be seen hanging upside down in underwater caves at depths of 20 to several hundred feet.  Their range is from Morro Bay to the Gulf of California, and their abundance on Santa Catalina Island is the reason they are also referred to as the "Catalina Goby".  This attractive crevice dweller rarely ventures far from its rocky habitat, darting in and out of holes only to capture small planktonic food, attract a mate or vigorously defend its nest using its brilliant colors to remind intruders of its strong defensive instincts.  Having these characteristics makes the bluebanded goby a perfect candidate for Cabrillo Marine Aquarium's territorial fish display tank. 

Bluebanded gobies are usually found at the Aquarium in tank number 16.