Common Name: Bucchich’s goby
Scientific Names: Gobius bucchichi
Description: This is a relatively small goby mostly seen in the 3-5cm range, though it can reach 9cm long . Gobies have a prominent head with their eyes set high and projecting above the forehead. Like Blennies they often rest with the front of the body held off the surface by their pelvic fins. A really close look (or good photograph) should show that Gobies have two separate fins on their back (Blennies have one long one). Bucchich’s goby has a light grey-brown body colour with a dark line through each eye and numerous lines of dark spots along the body. A single line of larger, almost rectangular blackish spots running low down along each side may help tell it apart from Sarato’s goby.
Distinctive Features: A dark line through each eye joining on the snout.
Abundance: Solitary fish. Often seen in very shallow water (e.g . the Inland Sea) and more frequently once you know what to look out for. Regularly seen in shallow water, on at least every other snorkelling session.
Habitat & Behaviour: They live in rocky habitats, often out in the open on the seabed. They feed on bottom living marine life.
Reaction to Snorkellers & Divers: For such a small fish they can be very wary of snorkellers, perhaps because to them a snorkeller could be a predator. However, on a recent trip two were observed posturing and clashing over territory. In this setting they were completely oblivious to being filmed with the GoPro.
Other Notes: This species has been included here to allow you to recognise what a goby looks like. This particular species is often seen in shallow 1-2m waters off Malta. However, there are many goby species found in the Mediterranean and whilst some are very distinctive many can only be identified definitively by experts.
Text: Bob Earll
Photo: Frances Dipper
Video: Luke Adshead