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Imposter neon goby?

BF McUmber

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Good afternoon all, 

I went and got the last two neon blue gobies they had at the fish store. One in the bag looked kind of big to me. When I got home I looked closer and this one definitely looks and acts a little different than the other 5 I have.  Is it just a big neon,  or is it something else?

Thank you. 






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On 10/16/2021 at 2:49 PM, Dwayne Brown said:

It's kind of hard to tell the stiphodon goby's apart. I had a rainbow one and it looked very similar to a lot of other types. @BF McUmber Do the others have any distinctive marking that would indicate this one being a different species. 

Thank you for the reply

The size and behavior was one thing. It is larger and less timid.  It reminded me more of my lipstick gobies than my neons. My neons would immediately hide. He just stayed out and was not eating to help his case.  He had since eaten, and does eat in a similar manner to the neon. 


The biggest tell is the coloring though. All 5 of my other neons fairly closely match in appearance.  The neons have longitudinal coloring and this one has vertical bars.

The neons also have a colored band that goes around their head that he has not shown yet.  It has not shown and hints of color yet.  

This one also has more colored fins and slightly differently colored fins. Finally this one has a bunch of spots behind its head which none of my neons have. 



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On 10/17/2021 at 12:28 AM, eatyourpeas said:

Could it be a Stiphodon palawanensis?

That looks like exactly what it is!! In a research paper it even has something resembling dots on its head, not as many as mine but believable. The fin structure they show in the paper more closely matches as well! Mine has not developed the coloring on the tips but maybe it will. Thank you!

All in all they should play well with my neocaridina shrimp and neon gobies. It also seems like they are pretty rare, so that may be a lucky find for me. 

This is fun, now I have a goby that can get a name. I have not been able to find discernable differences with the neons to tell them apart. 

Thanks again, 


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