The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Tridentiger barbatus
Tridentiger barbatus
(Shokihaze Goby)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Tridentiger barbatus (Günther, 1861)

Common name: Shokihaze Goby

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Jordan and Snyder (1902); Tomiyama (1936); Masuda et. al. (1984). Shokihaze gobies superficially resemble sculpins but can be distinguished by the presence of fused pelvic fins, forming a suction cup, and the presence of barbels on the head. Shokihaze gobies can be distinguished from the other introduced species of Tridentiger (shimofuri goby T. bifasciatus and chameleon goby T. trigonocephalus) by the presence of barbels and by differences in coloration (~6 vertical or diagonal dusky bars in T. barbatus vs. dark horizontal stripes in T. bifasciatus and T. trigonocephalus).

Size: up to 12 cm TL

Native Range: Marine and brackish waters in China, Japan, and Korea.

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: The first report of this species was a single juvenile collected on November 3, 1997, in the San Joaquin River, California, near West Island. Three more juveniles were collected the following month in San Pablo Bay. Presently, this species has been collected in San Francisco Bay from San Pablo Bay upstream to the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers as well as in the Suisun Marsh (K. Fleming, personal communication; Greiner 2002; Matern et al. 2002; Wonham et al 2000). Some reports of shokihaze gobies from the southern tip of San Francisco Bay (Greiner 2002; Greiner et al. 2006, 2007).

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Tridentiger barbatus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA199420225Middle San Joaquin-Lower Chowchilla; San Francisco Bay; San Joaquin Delta; San Pablo Bay; Suisun Bay

Table last updated 7/14/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Tridentiger barbatus is primarily a consumer of benthic invertebrates (polychaete worms, crustaceans) and small fishes (Dotu 1957). In California, diet of the shokihaze goby includes gammarid amphipods, copepods, mysids, isopods, and clam siphons. Shokihaze gobies were also found to consume polyps of the introduced hydrozoan Cordylophora caspia, which comprised up to 10% of total gut content weight in some seasons (Slater 2005).

Shokihaze gobies exhibit a wide degree of environmental tolerances, and have been collected in water temperatures of 7-22°C and salinites of <1-29 ppt. This species is short lived, with individuals reaching maturity during their first year, and spawing occuring primarily in brackish waters (2-9 ppt) during spring and summer months (April - August). Males construct and guard nests on hard substrates including empty oyster shells, rocks, jetties, and pilings (Dotu 1957; Slater 2005; Wang 2011).

Means of Introduction: Probably introduced via ballast water (Fleming, personal communication).

Status: Established in California

Impact of Introduction: Unknown. However, this species is piscivorous and may prey on native gobies and/or sculpins (Fleming, personal communicaton).

Remarks: In recent years, catchs of T. barbatus within the San Francisco Bay Delta region exceeded that of the other two species of Tridentiger species combined (Greiner et al. 2006, 2007).

Voucher specimens: California (UCD; CAS).

References: (click for full references)

Dotu, Y. 1957. The bionomics and life history of the goby, Triaenopogon barbatus (Günther) in the innermost part of Ariake Sound. Scientific Bulletin of the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University 16:261-274.

Greiner, T.A. 2002. Records of the shokihaze goby, Tridentiger barbatus (Günther), newly introduced into the San Francisco Estuary. California Fish and Game 88(2):68-74.

Greiner, T., K. Hieb, S. Slater, and M. Standford. 2006. 2005 fishes annual status and trends report for the San Francisco Estuary. IEP Newsletter 19(2):16-32.

Greiner, T. M. Fish, S. Slater, K. Hieb, J. Budrick, J. DuBois, and D. Contreras. 2007. 2006 fishes annual status and trends report for the San Francisco Estuary. IEP Newsletter 20(2):22-40.

Matern, S.A., P.B. Moyle, and L.C. Pierce. 2002. Native and alien fishes in a California estuarine marsh: twenty-one years of changing assemblages. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 131: 797-816.

Slater, S.B. 2005. Life history and diet of the shokihaze goby (Tridentiger barbatus) in the San Francisco Estuary. Master's thesis. California State University, Sacramento, CA.

Wang, J.C.S. 2011. Fishes of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta and adjacent waters, California: a guide to early life histories. Tracy Fish Collection Facility Studies, vol. 44. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region and Denver Technical Service Center.

Other Resources:
California Fish Species

FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 4/20/2018

Peer Review Date: 6/23/2011

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Tridentiger barbatus (Günther, 1861): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=715, Revision Date: 4/20/2018, Peer Review Date: 6/23/2011, Access Date: 7/14/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/14/2024].

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