Benthophilus macrocephalus (Pallas, 1787)
Caspian tadpole goby
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Family:  Gobiidae (Gobies), subfamily: Gobiinae
Max. size:  11.6 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; depth range 0 - 25 m
Distribution:  Europe and Asia: Caspian Sea, along most coasts; Volga up to Astrakhan.
Diagnosis:  This species is distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: tubercles larger than granules, tubercles of equal size in dorsal row 24-26, ventral row 21-22, upper lateral row up to 20 but the lower one is usually absent; numerous granules, densely set and appearing as small spines covering head, back, flanks and caudal peduncle; a semicircular patch of granules along upper eye margin; chin barbel thick and conical; D1 III-IV; body plain grey (Ref. 59043).
Biology:  Inhabits shallow coastal waters and estuaries usually 0.5-10 m deep, over mud bottom; also in lower reaches or rivers. It is widely distributed but rare. During warm seasons, it prefers coastal waters; in northern Caspian Sea, it moves to deeper waters (20-25) in winter. This species lives for about a year. it forms schools during spawning season (April-July) over hard bottom with mollusc shells where females lay eggs in at least two portions. Feeds mostly on molluscs and fish (small gobies), also worms and crustaceans. (Ref.59043). Males are larger than females. Mature males become completely naked (Ref. 2058).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 January 2008 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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