Gobius cruentatus is a species that, as we can deduce from its name, belongs to the Gobiidae family. It is a benthic species, so it lives on the seabed in coastal waters up to 40 meters deep. The geographical distribution of this species covers the eastern Atlantic Ocean, from the southwest of Ireland to the coasts of Senegal, being also present in a large part of the Mediterranean Sea.
The body of Gobius cruentatus can reach maximum total lengths of 18 cm, especially in male specimens, which tend to be slightly longer than females. The body of this species is cylindrical and elongated, slightly compressed laterally. It has a large and relatively wide head, with two large eyes located in the upper lateral part of the head, which give it a wide visual range. The mouth is large, located at the lower anterior end and is slightly oriented upwards. It has two dorsal fins, the first is shorter than the second, but nevertheless its height is greater than the second, especially in the first rays. This first dorsal fin has 6 spines. The second dorsal fin has one spine followed by 14 soft rays. The pectoral fins are broad and large, somewhat oval in shape and consist of 20 to 21 soft rays. The pelvic fins are modified to form a sucker, although in this particular species this modification is not complete. Finally, the caudal fin is broad and with a rounded profile.
Chromatically, the body of Gobius cruentatus is dominated by brown and red colors. The red is especially noticeable in the head area and especially in the lips, hence its common name of red-mouthed goby. Throughout its body we find several dark and light spots that give it a partly marbled appearance that is more accentuated in juveniles and somewhat less in adults.
Gobius cruentatus is a sedentary species, and as we have said at the beginning, benthic. It stays next to rocks observing its vicinity to capture its prey, among which we find small fish and certain species of molluscs and crustaceans.Photos: