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COMMON NAME: Zebra Catalina Goby

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lythrypnus zebra

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Body is bright pink-red with blueish purple vertical stripes. Tail has yellowish tinge.

SEXUAL DIMORPHISM: Males have slightly longer dorsal fin with faint black tips on longest dorsal fin rays.

SPAWNING: Simultaneous/sequential hermaphrodites, can change sex from male to female or female to male if needed. Spawning occurs during summer when temperatures are warmer. Female lays eggs in male's cave and the male guards the eggs until they hatch.


DIET: Carnivore. Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and Cyclop-eeze are readily accepted.

NATURAL HABITAT: Sub-tropical. Lives among rock, boulders, and rubble.

MAX SIZE: 6.5 cm or 2 inches.

DISTRIBUTION: Eastern Pacific, Carmel Bay in central California to Revillagigedos Islands.

TEMPERMENT: Peaceful. May fight with conspecifics.

HABITS: Often found sitting out in the open near their homes in a rock crevice. When threatened, will retreat into their dart-hole. Cryptic and shy.

IDEAL WATER CHEMISTRY: pH 8.2, salinity 1.020 - 1.024, temp 65* - 72*F

HARDINESS and LIFESPAN: 6/10 Zebra Catalina gobies are still wild harvested and are not as hardy as Catalina gobies. Lifespan 1 - 5 years in captivity. Cooler water temperatures increase lifespan.

SENSITIVITIES: Ammonia, Nitrite, tropical temperatures, ich, Lymphocystis.

PHOTOPERIOD: Diurnal, 10 - 12 hours


OTHER: Many retailers sell these fish for tropical reef tanks. Please don't be tempted to keep these fish in a reef tank. The effects of keeping these fish in too-warm temperatures are obvious to an experienced keeper. Rapid gill movements, poor coloration, shortened lifespan, and less resistance to disease affect these fish in tropical temperatures.
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