Tubenose Goby

Tube Nose 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, 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)