Evil Eye

It may be a bit of a sour title to accompany the text on such a lovely and intriguing fish, but the words are chosen carefully: when Signal Gobies (Signigobius biocellatus) feel threatened they erect their dorsal fins to reveal two big eye-spots or ocelli. Looked at from the side, these spots mimic the eyes of a bigger animal, with the aim to convince any potential predator to leave this fish alone.

Once the Goby can relax again, it carries on with its usual business of feeding and digging burrows.

This Crab-eyed Goby, another common name, is a typical sand sifter, meaning that it feeds by scooping up sediment with its frog-like mouth and filter it through its gills.

Twin-spot Gobies, as they are also sometimes called, form monogamous pairs.
The couple spends a lot of time digging burrows that will serve as shelter or a place to lay their eggs. Once the female is ready to reproduce she will lay her clutch inside one of the burrows the couple carefully prepared. After that she will usher the male inside and seal him in for a couple of days. A couple can attend up to six burrows with eggs at more or less the same time. After the incubation period only one juvenile fish will appear out of each hole.

The range of occurrence of these charming fish is not that big. They are known from the Philippines, Australia (the Great Barrier reef), Palau, Indonesia (mainly Sulawesi and Halmahera), New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

We consider ourselves very lucky to have found this pair in Bali!

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2 thoughts on “Evil Eye

  1. Wig says:

    How wonderful can nature be!
    Thanks for the interesting story.

    Liked by 1 person

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