Giant goby

Giant goby by Paul Naylor

Giant goby

Scientific name: Gobius cobitis
One of the UK’s rarest marine species, this giant of the rocky shore is a very special fish.

Species information

Statistics

Up to 30cm long

Conservation status

Rare

When to see

April to October

About

Britain’s largest goby, this giant of the rocky shore spends most of its time hiding in crevices and very little is known about their behaviour. It is thought that females can lay up to 12,000 eggs in small crevice ‘nests’, which males will then guard attentively. Giant gobies can change colour depending on mood and surroundings.

How to identify

Giant gobies are very large fish to find on the shore and have a large head and chunky body. Characteristically they are salt and pepper speckled colouration with small and well spaced eyes. Dark blotches appear along the mid-line of the body.

Distribution

South West England only, from Wembury in Devon to the Isles of Scilly. Also found in the Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea.

Did you know?

The Giant goby is protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, making it a criminal offence to disturb individuals or damage their rockpool homes!

How people can help

If you think you may have caught a Giant goby whilst rockpooling or fishing, it’s important to put it back straight away and be sure to report it to your local Wildlife Trust.