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Author: (Pallas, 1811)

Mesogobius batrachocephalus (Pallas, 1811)

Diagnosis: see genus. Dl VI (V-VII); D2 I + 17-18 (16 19); A I + 15-16 (14-17); P 19-20 (18-21). Scales in lateral series 75-82 (72-85). Vertebrae 34-36. Colour: yellowish-grey, with brown spots on head and body; dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins with dark streaks, one or two larger spots at caudal fin origin. Size: to 34.5 cm.

Habitat: inshore, estuaries, brackish lagoons, rarely freshwater, on sand, shell, rocks near cliffs; 20-60 m in summer, sometimes as deep at 100 m. Food: chiefly fish. Reproduction: end of February to beginning of May (Varna, Black Sea), one spawning. Eggs large, 5.2 x 2.6 mm, under or between stones. Sexually mature at 3 years. Lifespan: at least 4 years.

Distribution. Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Caspian Seas.

Subspecies

Mesogobius batrachocephalus batrachocephalus. Black Sea and Sea of
Azov; sexual dimorphism in breeding coloration not evident.
Mesogobius batrachocephalus nonultimus (Iljin, 1936): Caspian Sea; Sexual dimorphism in breeding coloration.

Knout goby (Mesogobius batrachocephalus)