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Author: (Pallas, 1811 )

Neogobius fluviatilis (Pallas, 1811 )

Diagnosis: nape scaled completely, scales ctenoid. Head depth (at eyes) about equal to width (between upper origins of opercles). Inter-orbit less than three-quarters eye diameter. Angle of jaws below snout between eye and rear nostril. Snout longer than eye, to 1.6 orbit. Upper lip not swollen at angle, 0.4-0.6 lateral pre-orbital area (between lip and eye). Pelvic disc 0.9 to greater than abdomen length (pelvic origin to anus), anterior membrane with small, rounded, lateral lobes, less than 0.2 width of rear edge. Caudal peduncle depth 0.5-0.6 own length. Dl VI (VI-VII); D2 I + 15-16 (14- 17); A I + 13-14 (12-16); P 17-18 (16-19). Scales in lateral series 55 61 (52-65). Vertebrae 33 (32-34). Colour: pale, sandy; breeding males black, with median fins edged yellowish-orange. Size: to 20 cm.

Habitat: inshore, brackish and freshwaters, on sand and mud. Food: crustaceans (especially corophiid amphipods), polychaetes and bivalves; also small fish and chironomid larvae. Reproduction: late May to September (Varna, Black Sea), April-July (River Bug), end of May to mid July (Sea of Azov). Eggs on stones and aquatic plants. Sexually mature usually at 2 years, 9-12 cm (males) and 8.5-10.5 cm (females), but sometimes at 1 year, almost 5.5 cm. Lifespan: at least 4 years.

Distribution: Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Caspian Sea, with tributaries; also Aral Sea.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Svetovidov, 1964: 454.
Otoliths (sagitta). Bilko, 1965: 56.

Subspecies

Neogobius fluviatilis fluviatilis. first dorsal fin with 3 dark bands but no posterior spot; Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

Neogobius fluviatilis pallasi (Berg, 1916): first dorsal fin with posterior dark spot; Caspian Sea.

Monkey goby (Neogobius fluviatilis)