Aspects of Spawning Behaviour in Five Gobiids of the Genus Coryphopterus (Pisces: Gobiidae) in the Caribbean Sea

A. Kramer*, 1, J. L. Van Tassell2, R. A. Patzner1
1 Department of Organismic Biology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
2 Biology Department, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA and Department of Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

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© 2009 Kramer et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Fragata Azul Lda., Lisbon, Portugal; Tel: +351 211 534 677; E-mail:


Sand dwelling species of Coryphopterus live in shared habitats and were reported to have a similar ecology. Species lineages within the western Atlantic Coryphopterus have recently been reconciled; fish which according to the common keys had formerly been identified as Coryphopterus glaucofraenum could in fact be C. glaucofraenum, C. tortugae or C. venezuelae and can genetically be clearly separated into different clades. Based on the new taxonomic key, ecological data for five Coryphopterus species are provided; size-sex distribution, number of eggs deposited, inter spawning intervals and courtship behaviour of Coryphopterus dicrus Böhlke and Robins, Coryphopterus eidolon Böhlke and Robins, Coryphopterus thrix Böhlke and Robins, Coryphopterus tortugae Jordan, and Coryphopterus venezuelae Cervigón, were examined in Curacao, Netherland Antilles. For the first time ecological data on C. tortugae and C. venezuelae are provided, which had been previously questioned as distinct species from Coryphopterus glaucofraenum.

In all species males reached a greater total length than females. Clutch sizes varied between 423 – 5872 eggs and interspawning intervals were between 5 – 14 days; no preferences for spawning at a particular lunar phase was found.