Yellow clown goby Gobiodon okinawae

  Tropical reef fish

Yellow clown goby

Yellow clown goby Gobiodon okinawae

Identity card

Yellow clown goby

Scientific name:
Gobiodon okinawae
Year of description:
Sawada, Arai & Abe, 1972
IUCN Status:
Least Concern

Western Pacific Ocean, from north to south of Japan, Palau, Marshall Islands in Micronesia, up to the Great Barrier Reef


From 2-15 m, reef habitat, sheltered reef formations in lagoons


Up to 3.5 cm



Yellow clown goby Gobiodon okinawae

During the breeding season, the females lay their eggs on the coral and these are then fertilised by the males.


The eggs hatch 3 to 4 days later. The yellow clown goby is oviparous, which means that it lays eggs.

Did you know?

Where is the animal to be found?

The yellow clown goby is a small yellow fish that is common in the Indo-Pacific and lives in coral reefs near Acropora corals. It lingers around coral branches and sometimes settles on them. It does not grow larger than 4 cm.

How can it be recognised?

Vivant en petits groupes de 5 à 15 individus, le gobie jaune a la particularité

The yellow clown goby lives in small groups of 5 to 15 individuals and has the particularity of producing a bitter mucus on its body, which acts as an effective protection against predators! The yellow colour of its coat, which is too conspicuous for it to remain hidden, is said to convey a visual message: "Beware I am toxic" - this is called aposematism.

What is distinctive about it?

The yellow clown goby is a protogynous hermaphrodite like the clownfish. This means that the yellow clown goby can change its gender from male to female. The yellow clown goby is a bi-directional hermaphrodite, i.e. it changes gender when necessary. Isn't that amazing?
This means that in the presence of two female gobies, the larger one becomes male and in the presence of two male gobies, the smaller one becomes female.
Cela signifie qu’en présence de deux gobies femelles, la plus grande devient mâle et qu’en présence de deux gobies mâles, le plus petit devient femelle.

Yellow clown goby Gobiodon okinawae

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The coral reef

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