Luciogobius albus

Regan 1940

Luciogobius albus
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Tomiyama (1936)



The fishes comprising this species were first described and figured by Tomiyama (1936:52, Fig. 10C) but were included therein as members of the polymorphic subspecies Luciogobius guttatus guttatus Gill, 1859.

Japanese name is Dôkutsu-mimizuhaze




Regan (1940) based his description primarily on a single figured specimen (Tomiyama 1936 Fig. 10C). Tomiyama, however, had two specimens, both 45mm in length, and these should be considered the syntype series for the species (P. K. Tubbs ICZN, pers. comm. 18 May 1988). The location of these specimens (if still extant) is probably the Science Faculty Museum, Zoological Institute, Tokyo University.


Type locality: the Cave of Daikon zima, Simane ken [Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island], Japan. Recorded more recently from Wakayama and Shimane Prefectures, Honshu Island; Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku Island; Nagasaki Prefecture, Kyushu Island and the Goto Islands (Akihito 1984) (33o-35oN, 130o-140oE).


According to Akihito (1984) this species inhabits underground waters near the sea. The exact nature of the cave of Daikon zima is not known to me (sea cave ? limestone solution cave ?). It is possible that this species (and Luciogobius pallidus) inhabit crevices under stones, or mud burrows in a similar manner to Typhlogobius californiensis (Thines 1969:194-196). Further details are required.


Kuang et al. (2018) used molecular markers to study the internal structure of the Suborder Gobioidei which contains within it eleven Families. They demonstrated that Milyeringidae is sister Family to a group of four Families: Oxudercidae+Gobiidae+Butidae+ Eleotridae and is only distantly related to four others: Odontobutidae, Rhyacichthyidae, Apogonidae and Kurtidae (samples from Thalasseleotridae and Trichonotidae were not availabe for analysis).

Conservation Status

[CR B2ab(iii,v) 3.1 2019]

This species is only known to be extant in a cave in Nagasaki Prefecture. It has an area of occupancy (AOO) of 4 km2 and the cave represents a single location based on the threat of sedimentation. This threat is leading to a continuing decline in habitat and the population. Therefore, this species is assessed as Critically Endangered. Previously Published Red List Assessments 1996 – Data Deficient (DD)

There are records of this species from caves in Shimane, Nagasaki and Kochi Prefectures (Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan 2015). However, the subpopulation in Shimane Prefecture is known to be extinct and the individuals from Kochi Prefecture have not been confirmed as this species based on the specimens collected (Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan 2015). Therefore, the only confirmed extant subpopulation of this species is in Nagasaki Prefecture (Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan 2015).

One subpopulation of this species (in Shimane Prefecture) is now extinct. The only confirmed extant subpopulation of this species is in Nagasaki Prefecture (Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan 2015).
Current Population Trend: Decreasing. Sedimentation in caves is the primary threat to this species (Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan 2015).

Data from Watanabe and Taniguchi (2019)

Museum Holdings

None known but there must be some specimens in the collection of Emperor Akihito of Japan.

Key References

Iwata, S Journal Article 1934 The fauna of a lava tunnel in the Island of Daikon-jima
Tomiyama, I. Journal Article 1936 Gobiidae of Japan
Shibaguchi, T Journal Article 1936 Mesopelagic Ranzania and subterranean Luciogobius
Regan, C. T. Journal Article 1940 The fishes of the Gobiid genus Luciogobius Gill
Dotu, Y Journal Article 1957 A new species of a goby with a synopsis of the species of the genus Luciogobius Gill and its two allied genera
Dotu, Y Journal Article 1963 On the blind gobioid fish Luciogobius albus Regan
Shibaguchi, T Journal Article 1965 Brief notes on Luciogobius albus
Murai, Y Journal Article 1969 A study on Luciogobius albus
Murai, Y Book Section 1969 Luciogobius albus
Murai, Y Journal Article 1969 Studies on I-ana cave and Luciogobius
Murai, Y Journal Article 1970 A study on Luciogobius albus Regan
Arai, R. Journal Article 1970 Luciogobius grandis, a new goby from Japan and Korea
Ueno, S.I. and Morimoto, Y. Journal Article 1970 The fauna of the insular lava caves in West Japan. 1. General account
Dotu, Y Journal Article 1972 Rare freshwater fishes (18). Luciogobius pallidus
Katayama, M and Ikeda, H Journal Article 1972 Luciogobius pallidus collected at Nagato-shi in Yamaguchi Prefecture
Murai, Y Journal Article 1972 Luciogobius albus found in a lava tunnel of Tomie-cho, the Goto Islands
Yamamuro, K Journal Article 1972 On the food habit, sexual characters and spawning time of Luciogobius albus Regan
Matsumoto, K Journal Article 1976 An introduction to the Japanese groundwater animals with reference to their ecology and hygienic significance
Shiogaki, M. and Dotsu, Y. Journal Article 1977 Life-History of Gobiid Fish, Luciogobius platycephalus
Minato, H Book 1978 Luciogobius albus
Dotu, Y Journal Article 1979 Notes on the biology of Luciogobius and its allied genera
Aizawa, H. and Kokuryo, Y. Journal Article 1980 Luciogobius pallidus obtained in Shizuoka Prefecture
Aizawa, H. and Kokuryo, Y. Journal Article 1980 Luciogobius pallidus collected from Shizuka Prefecture
Nishijima, S Book Section 1983 Luciogobius albus Regan
Akihito Book Section 1984 [Species accounts for] Luciogobius albus and Luciogobius pallidus
Fujita, H Book 1987 Luciogobius.
Hirathuka, J Journal Article 1988 Present condition of the habitat of long-lost Luciogobius on the island of Daikon-jima [in Shimane Prefecture]
Murai, Y Journal Article 1989 Luciogobius albus living in a lava tunnel
Yoshida, T and Dotu, Y Book Section 1989 Luciogobius pallidus
Matsumoto, I Book 1991 Luciogobius pallidus. Report on the present situation of Natural Monuments in Mie Prefecture
Ueno, S.I. Journal Article 1993 A bibliography of the biospeleology of Japan 1916-1992
Aizawa, M. Book Section 1996 Luciogobius pallidus Regan, 1940
Aizawa, M Book Section 1998 Luciogobius pallidus Regan, 1940
Yoshida, T and Dotu, Y Book Section 2001 Luciogobius pallidus
Okiyama, M. Journal Article 2001 Luciogobius adapel, a new species of gobiid fish from Japan
Ueno, S.-I. Book Section 2001 Japan
Aizawa, M. Journal Article 2001 Dokutsumizuhaze, a fish that lives in a cave
Arao, K. and Aizawa, M. Journal Article 2004 Record of a gobiid fish, Luciogobius pallidus Regan from Owase City, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Ishida, Atsushi, Matsuo, Toshio, Tatsukawa, Junya, Seguchi, Mikihirio, Ebihara, Mami and Takahama, Hideki Journal Article 2005 A record of rare freshwater fishes including Luciogobius pallidus collected from the Usuki River, Oita Prefecture, Japan
Hirashima, K and Takahashi, H Journal Article 2008 Early life history of aquarium-held blind well goby Luciogobius pallidus, collected from Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Maeda, K., Yamasaki, N., Kondo, M. and Tachihara, K. Journal Article 2008 Occurrence and morphology of larvae and juveniles of six Luciogobius species from Aritsu Beach, Okinawa Island
Kanagawa, N, Itai, T and Senou, H Journal Article 2011 Two new species of freshwater gobies of the genus Luciogobius (Perciformes: Gobiidae) from Japan
Kim, B.J. Journal Article 2012 New record of a rare hypogean gobiid, Luciogobius pallidus from jeju Island, Korea
Jin, X, Sun, Y., Zhao, S. and Wang, R. Journal Article 2013 Mitochondrial genome of the Luciogobius platycephalus (Perciformes, Gobioidei)
Ellingson, R.A., Swift, C.C., Findley, L.T. and Jacobs, D.K. Journal Article 2014 Convergent evolution of ecomorphological adaptations in geographically isolated Bay gobies (Teleostei: Gobionellidae) of the temperate North Pacific
Cho, H.-G. and Choi, S.-H. Journal Article 2014 First record of two gobiid fishes, Luciogobius elongatus, L. platycephalus (Perciformes: Gobiidae) from Korea
He, Y, Kim, B.J, Hirashima, K and Xiao, T Journal Article 2015 Skull and dentition of a hypogean goby Luciogobius palidus revealed by synchrotron microtomography
Yu, J.-N., Kim, B.-J., Kim, Soonok, Oh, K. and Lim, C.E. Journal Article 2015 Complete mitochondrial genome of the rare hypogean gobiid, Luciogobius pallidus, from Korea
Jun, J., Choi, S.-H. and Kim, H.Y. Journal Article 2018 Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genomes and phylogenetic analysis of the two Luciogobius species (Perciformes, Gobionellinae) from Korea
Kuang, T., Tornabene, L., Lia, J., Jiang, J., Chakrabarty, P., Sparks, J.S., Naylor, G.J.P. and Lia, C. Journal Article 2018 Phylogenomic analysis on the exceptionally diverse fish clade Gobioidei (Actinopterygii: Gobiiformes) and data-filtering based on molecular clocklikeness
Kondo, K. and Kato, M. Journal Article 2019 Life in coastal pebble sediment: Unique interstitial organism community and selective feeding on meiobenthos by interstitial fishes (Luciogobius: Gobiidae)
Shibukawa, K., Aizawa, M., Suzuki, T., Kanagawa N. and Muto, F. Journal Article 2019 Preliminary review of earthworm gobies of the genus Luciogobius (Gobiiformes, Oxudercidae) from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Watanabe, K. and Taniguchi, Y. Report 2019 Luciogobius albus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019
Ta, T.T., Tran, H.D., Dinh, L.G., Nguyen, M.H., Tran, T.T. amd Ha, L.M. Journal Article 2021 Planktonic larvae of Luciogobius sp. (Gobiidae) in a tropical estuary.