Aphia minuta

Transparent goby

Otolith description
Otoliths of gobiidae are all very similar in shape and are hard to identify to species level. The shape of otoliths of transparent goby is rounded. The sulcus is closed and runs diagonally. The ostium is much wider than the cauda, which is indistinct. The cauda sits dorsally from the ostium. The surface of the inside, the outside and margins are smooth. A small rounded rostrum may just be visible, but mostly is indistinct. The antirostrum is indistinct. The margins are rounded. The inside of the otolith is slightly concave and the outside convex. The otolith is thick. Otoliths do not exceed 1.5 mm in length.
Otoliths of gobiidae are all very similar. Otoliths of black goby Gobius niger, common goby Pomatoschistus microps, painted goby P. pictus, sand goby P. minutus and Lozano’s goby P. lozanoi are square instead of round. Otoliths of crystal goby Crystallogobius linearis have their cauda even less visible than have transparent gobies.
When eroded the above-described differences disappear and are therefore not useful for identifying otoliths to species level. Eroded gobiidae otoliths are round with the sulcus slightly visible.
There is some difference in the maximum size of the fish and therefore in the otoliths:
crystal goby: <0.7 mm
transparent goby: <1.5 mm
common goby, Lozano’s goby: <2.0 mm
painted goby: <2.5 mm
sand goby: <3.0 mm
black goby: >3.0 mm

Fish length and distribution
Transparent goby can grow up to 6 cm. Transparent goby is a pelagic schooling fish (APHIMINU.TIF) found in inshore waters, in depths up to 60 m. Spawning takes place from May to August and eggs are deposited on the seabed (Wheeler, 1978, Nijssen and De Groot, 1987, Muus et al., 1999).
Transparent goby is found in NE Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic.

Sample origin
Southern North Sea.