Luciogobius pallidus

Regan 1940

Luciogobius pallidus
Redrawn by Rhian Kendall from Tomiyama (1936)



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

Japanese name is Ido-mimizuhaze




Regan (1940) based his description primarily on a single figured specimen (Tomiyama 1936 Fig. 10d). Tomiyama, however, had three specimens, 35mm ‑ 65mm 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. Eschmeyer (1998) reports that their whereabouts is not known.


It is not possible to determine the type locality. Tomiyama (1936:52) states: "Three specimens.....from artesian well; Gobo, Hidaka‑gun, Wakayama‑ken [Wakayama Prefecture, Honshu Island]; Misaki‑mura, Hata‑gun, Koti‑ken [Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku Island]; Uwazima, Simane‑ken [Shimane Prefecture, Honshu Island]".  The species has been recorded from Mie, Wakayama, and Yamaguchi Prefectures, Honshu Island; Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku Island; Ehime Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture (Akihito 1984) (33o-35oN, 130o-140oE). Also supposedly now found in Korea (Kim 2012) though this is a long way from the known the known distribution.


According to Akihito (1984) this species inhabits underground waters near the sea. Presumably Tomiyama’s specimens originated from a similar habitat and were removed from it via the well. It is possible that this species (and L. albus) 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).

See Figure 4 from Yamada et al. (2009) below for systematic details of cave and interstitial Luciogobius species.

Conservation Status


(World Conservation Monitoring Centre. 1996. Luciogobius pallidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 1996: Downloaded on 06 July 2017). Appears to be widely distributed (Akihito, 1984:283). Almost nothing is known about this animal and DD remains the best current assessment.

Museum Holdings

NIBR-P13719, 4 specimens, 31.2mm – 53.6mm SL (Kim 2012). There must be some specimens in the collection of Emperor Akihito of Japan.

Internet Resources

Luciogobius pallidus complete mitochondrial genome and source paper

Key References

Shibaguchi, T Journal Article 1936 Mesopelagic Ranzania and subterranean Luciogobius
Tomiyama, I. Journal Article 1936 Gobiidae of Japan
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 Studies on I-ana cave and Luciogobius
Murai, Y Journal Article 1969 A study on Luciogobius albus
Murai, Y Book Section 1969 Luciogobius albus
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
Shiogaki, M. and Dotsu, Y. Journal Article 1976 Two new species of the genus Luciogobius (family Gobiidae) from Japan
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 collected from Shizuka Prefecture
Aizawa, H. and Kokuryo, Y. Journal Article 1980 Luciogobius pallidus obtained in Shizuoka 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
World Conservation Monitoring Centre Journal Article 1996 Luciogobius pallidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Itani, G. and Tanase, H. Journal Article 1996 A blind goby, Luciogobius pallidus Regan, collected from a burrow of a mud shrimp, Upogebia yokoyai Makarov
Aizawa, M. Book Section 1996 Luciogobius pallidus Regan, 1940
Aizawa, M. Book Section 1998 Idomimizuhaze
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
Akihito, S.K, Ilkeda, Y. and Sugiyama, K. Book Section 2002 Gobioidei
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
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
Hirashima, K and Takahashi, H Journal Article 2008 Early life history of aquarium-held blind well goby Luciogobius pallidus, collected from Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Yamada, T., Sugiyama, K, Tamaki, K, Kawakita, A. and Kato, M. Journal Article 2009 Adaptive radiation of gobies in the interstitial habitats of gravel beaches accompanied by body elongation and excessive vertebral segmentation
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)
Cho, H.-G. and Choi, S.-H. Journal Article 2014 First record of two gobiid fishes, Luciogobius elongatus, L. platycephalus (Perciformes: Gobiidae) from Korea
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
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
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
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
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.
Chronogram based on the maximum likelihood phylogeny of the combined Mll, Myh6, Ptr, Rag1, Rag2, and Ryr3 genes. Numbers above nodes indicate Bayesian posterior probabilities, and those at terminal branches indicate vertebra number of each species. The ancestral state reconstructions of vertebra number are also shown. Interstitial species are indicated by the blue background. Illustrations of pelvic fin morphologies are provided for the six genetically distinct groups of L. elongatus. Figure 4 from Yamada et al. (2009) and used with CC/BY/2.0