Awaous grammepomus, the Pearl goby

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Matt Clarke looks at a rarely seen goby from Sri Lanka that has recently been imported into the UK.

Common name: Pearl goby

Scientific name: Awaous grammepomus

Size: Up to 14cm/5".

Origin: Sri Lanka, Belau (formerly Palau) and Nepal. Museum records show that the fish has also been collected from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Mauritius. The specimens lodged in the Natural History Museum's spirit collection were collected

in Malta, way off the

distributional range for this species, perhaps suggesting a possible mis-identification.

Water: Awaous grammepomus is found in estuarine areas and in streams and rivers in the Mekong River system. It has also been collected from marine waters. The addition of some salt may be beneficial depending

on the habitat the fishes were collected from.

Habitat: According to Pethiyagoda (1991), it's usually found in streams with a sand

or gravel bottom.

Diet: This species is an omnivore and feeds on anything from larval dipterans, such as bloodworms, and filamentous algae. Ecological records show that it grazes on aquatic plants and detritus.

Notes: This fish used to be called Gobius grammepomus.

Similar species: There are about 13 species of Awaous, but only two are found in Asia - A. grammepomus and A. melanocephalus. Both species are found in Sri Lanka.

Availability: These are difficult to obtain. Israquarium imported these from Sri Lanka and may be able to supply your retailer.

Price: 9-12 each.