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.

Mugilogobius cavifrons
Mugilogobius cavifrons
(mangrove goby)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Mugilogobius cavifrons (Weber, 1909)

Common name: mangrove goby

Synonyms and Other Names: Mugilogobius parvus (Oshima 1919)

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Identification key to Hawaiian marine gobies in Greenfield and Randall (2004).

Size: 6 cm TL

Native Range: Tropical Indo-Pacific: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Phillippines, Taiwan, Ryukyu Islands, Kosrae (Caroline Islands), Guam (Greenfield and Randall 2004)

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: The mangrove goby is established on the island of Oahu, Hawaii (Staples and Cowie 2001; Greenfield and Randall 2004)

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 Mugilogobius cavifrons are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
HI198819982Hawaii; Oahu

Table last updated 9/27/2021

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Generally occurs in shallow mangrove, brackish, and freshwater habitats (Greenfield and Randall 2004). Mugiligobius cavifrons is highly carnivorous and will consume any prey item smaller than itself. In Hawaii, its diet includes ostracods, chironomid larvae, juvenile fishes, and small crustaceans (Englund et al 2000).

Means of Introduction: Ballast water.

Status: Established in Oahu, Hawaii. Not known from any other islands in Hawaiian archipelago.

Impact of Introduction: This species is highly aggressive and predatory; eats native species during their migration from the ocean to streams; readily consumes juvenile 'o'opu nakea (a native stream goby, Awaous guamensis). Likely competes with native gobies (particularly A. guamensis) for both food and space (Englund et al 2000). Displays little climbing ability, cannot pass waterfalls.

Remarks: Originally reported by Randall et al. (1993) as M. parvus, which is currently regarded as a synonym of M. cavifrons (Larson 2001).

References: (click for full references)

Englund, R.A., D.J. Preston, R. Wolff, S.L. Coles, L.G. Eldredge, and K. Arakaki. 2000. Biodiversity of freshwater and estuarine communities in lower Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii with observations on introduced species. Bishop Museum Technical Report no. 16. Hawaii Biological Survey, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI.

Greenfield, D.W., and J.E. Randall. 2004. The marine gobies of the Hawaiian Islands. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 55:498-549.

Larson, H.K. 2001. A revision of the gobiid fish genus Mugilogobius (Teleostei: Gobioidei), and its systematic placement. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 6:21-233.

Randall, J.E., J.L. Earle, T. Hayes, C. Pittman, M. Severns, and R.J.F. Smith. 1993. Eleven new records and validations of shore fishes from the Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Science 47:222-239.

Staples, G.W. and R.H. Cowie. 2001. Hawaii's Invasive Species. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI. 116 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Neilson, M.E.

Revision Date: 4/20/2018

Peer Review Date: 8/9/2011

Citation Information:
Neilson, M.E., 2021, Mugilogobius cavifrons (Weber, 1909): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=2255, Revision Date: 4/20/2018, Peer Review Date: 8/9/2011, Access Date: 9/28/2021

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. [2021]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [9/28/2021].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted. For queries involving fish, please contact Matthew Neilson. For queries involving invertebrates, contact Amy Benson.