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Invasive Species: Tubenose Goby

Tubenose Goby

Proterorhinus semilunaris)
*Established in Michigan waters*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool.

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -



  • Small – up to 11 cm.
  • Mottled brown coloration with small scales.
  • Conjoined pectoral fins, 2 dorsal fins.
  • Tube-shaped protuberance extending from each anterior nostril.
  • Lines on first dorsal fin (no spot like round goby).

tubenose goby illustration
Illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri, Ontario's Invading Species Program.

Habitat: Slightly brackish to freshwater habitats are preferred.

Diet: Tubenose goby eat primarily benthic invertebrates such as amphipods.

Native Range: Black, Caspian, and Aral seas, the Sea of Azov and rivers in northern Aegean.

U.S. Distribution: They have been introduced to the Great Lakes basin and inhabit Lakes Superior, Erie and Huron and are abundance in Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River.

Local Concern: Dietary requirements put this species in strong competition with native darter populations in the Great Lakes.

Means of Introduction: It is believed that tubenose gobies made their way to the Great Lakes basin via ballast water introduction.

Native look-alikes and how you can tell them apart from tubenose goby:

  • Spoonhead Sculpin: pelvic fins not fused, all fins lightly speckled except for clear pelvic fins, scaleless body.
  • Slimy Sculpin: pelvic fins not fused, scaleless body.
  • Mottled Sculpin: pelvic fins not fused, dark spots all over first dorsal fin, scaleless body.
  • Deepwater Sculpin: pelvic fins not fused, scaleless body.


Tubenose Goby Invasive Species Alert (printable PDF)