Cryptocentrus wheeleri Polunin and Lubbock, 1977, Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Gorgeous goby, Wheeler’s shrimp goby; Afrikaans: Mooidikkop; Gela: Iga taotao; Tagalog: Bia.
Reaches about 3.2 in (8 cm) total length. Body with scales (62–68 in longitudinal series along the flanks). Second dorsal and anal fins, each with 12 soft fin rays. Pelvic fins not forming a strong sucking disk; fins connected between innermost rays but not between spines of each fin. Head and body a light yellowish green or brownish dorsally, with six reddish, vertical, or oblique bands on flanks; numerous small, bluish spots, or reddish spots on head. A vertical red stripe runs from eye to corner of mouth. Fins transparent, and all except pectorals with numerous blue spots and often with reddish bases, and dorsal fins with orange spots near edge. Caudal fin has oblique red stripe.
Throughout much of the Indo-Pacific region, from East and South Africa and the southern Red Sea to Fiji; in the Pacific, north to Taiwan, and the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, and south to the Great Barrier Reef
Lives on sand and rubble patches of reef flats between 16 and 98 ft (5–30 m) deep. Found in association with alpheid prawns (usually Alpheus ochrostriatus) that live in burrows.
Typical of several species of gobies that live symbiotically with prawns. The goby rests just outside the prawn’s burrow, and retreats into the burrow at the approach of danger. The goby and prawn may stay in reasonably close contact with each other when either leaves the burrow. The goby benefits from the shelter afforded by the burrow, and might also be “cleaned” by the prawn. The goby acts as a “watchman” for the prawn. The goby can signal the presence or absence of danger by flicking movements of its tail, and the prawn feels these signals through its antennae, which it places on the goby’s tail. If the prawn cleans the goby of small particles attached to its body, then this may provide a useful food source for the prawn.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Commercial importance in the aquarium trade.
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