Bumblebee Goby (Brachygobius doriae)

bumblebee goby

The bumblebee goby, also known as the bumble bee fish, Brachygobius doriae, bumble bee goby fish, or brachygobius xanthomelas, is named for its appearance and unusual coloration, which resembles the bright colors of a bumblebee. Native to the eastern Atlantic Ocean, including the western Mediterranean Sea, the bumblebee goby has found popularity in aquariums because of its unique features and behaviors.

The bumblebee goby is a small species of goby that grows to approximately 1.2 inches in length. It has an elongated body and large eyes, with thin yellow stripes running vertically along its body on both sides, and one yellow band on its tail fin. The bumblebee goby inhabits coastal waters at depths of 5 to 30 meters in the western Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, usually near mangroves or coral reefs.

If you’re looking for an interesting fish to add to your brackish or freshwater tank, the bumblebee goby (Brachygobius doriae) might be right up your alley.

What is a bumblebee goby?

The bumblebee goby is a small goby that can be found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of west Africa. They are usually found in pairs, living near rocks and coral reefs. The bumblebee goby gets its name from the yellow stripes on its body and head, which resemble the stripes of a bee.

The bumblebee goby’s diet consists mainly of shrimp and other small invertebrates. Although they do not look like an intimidating species, these fish have been observed to attack larger fish. If you plan to keep this species of fish as a pet, it would be wise to keep them with less aggressive tank mates because they may become stressed otherwise.

Species profile

bumblebee goby

The bumblebee goby is a small fish that can be found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. This species typically lives on sandy bottoms at depths of about 4 to 15 m. They do not migrate, but are rather sedentary and live in the same area all year round.

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

Males typically have yellowish tints with orange bars and vertical stripes while females are more drab, brownish yellow with horizontal bars. Bumblebee gobies feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates such as crustaceans and worms.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the bumblebee goby is Brachygobius doriae (formerly brachygobius xanthomelas).


Various saltwater and freshwater habitats are known to contain the Bumblebee Goby, including estuaries, streams, mangrove swamps, and tidal creeks.

Bumblebee goby size and weight

The bumblebee goby, Brachygobius doriae, is a species of fish that can grow to be up to 4.1 cm (1.6 inches) long and can weigh up to 3.5 ounces (0.1 kg).

Bumblebee goby tank mates

The minimum recommended tank size for bumble bee goby fish is 10 gallons (38 liters).

Bumblebee goby tank mates

Guppies and mollies, both of which are peaceful tempered and able to live in brackish water, are compatible with the bumblebee goby. Ideally, you should pair bumblebee goby tanks with fish that move near the surface and in the middle water layers.

You may also want to consider invertebrates. They will likely be ignored by your fish, and vice versa. Snails (like Nerite Snails) and shrimp (like Amano Shrimp) can be perfectly added.

Bumblebee goby breeding

bumblebee goby

Changes in salinity (that is, water change with freshwater) often trigger fish spawning. When spawning time comes, however, the females are easier to spot since, about 48 hours before spawning, they will show ovipositor and are significantly more colorful than the males. Up to 200 eggs will be laid by the pair in a cave or beneath a rock.

Four days after hatching, the eggs will reach 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), and the male will guard the fry.

The female must have a hideaway to retreat to during this time since he will defend his brood from all comers. It isn’t long before the fry, like their parents, adopt a bottom-dwelling lifestyle after they become free swimmers, but this takes time. Providing sufficient live food is one of the problems. In order for brine shrimp to hatch properly, the timing must coincide with the fry’s needs.

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Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The bumblebee goby is a peaceful fish that does not cause any harm to other fish. They are very good at hiding and will spend most of their time burying themselves in sand or under rocks.

Bumblebee goby care information

bumblebee goby

The bumblebee goby is a reef-safe fish that can be a great addition to your tank. They are reef safe because they live on the bottom of the tank and eat from the substrate. The bumblebee goby is also peaceful and will not bother other animals in your aquarium, but it may nip at corals or clam mantles. They are aggressive eaters, so they should be fed two to three times per day.

Bumblebee goby food

The bumblebee goby food consists of small invertebrates, algae, and detritus. They are often seen feeding by sifting mouthfuls of substrate through their gills to extract minute organisms or food particles.

Tank requirements

The bumblebee goby is an interesting fish that should be housed in a tank of at least 20 gallons. The environment should be densely planted and the water should be soft and acidic.

This fish requires temperatures of 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit and will do best when kept as part of a species-only aquarium or alongside other small bottom-dwelling fishes such as dwarf angelfish, arrowana, hatchetfish, bristlenose pleco, etc.

It can also live with mollies and guppies but may become aggressive with these types of fish if kept in too small of a space. Be sure to provide plenty of hiding places for this shy creature. For this reason, it may not thrive in community tanks with larger cichlids or larger barbs.

As far as diet goes, they are omnivores so feed them some quality pellet foods along with shrimp pellets and frozen brine shrimp. They have been known to eat crustaceans including small crabs so be sure you offer some hard-shelled prey items from time to time.

Perlmutt Cichlid (Labidochromis perlmutt)

Bumblebee goby lifespan

The lifespan of a Bumblebee goby can range anywhere from 3 to 4 years.

Parasites and diseases

The bumblebee goby can be infected with parasites or diseases, such as Hexamita and Cryptocaryon. They may also experience wounds from predators. Additionally, in captivity, they may not fare well in a community tank because of the high levels of aggression between other species and them.

These are all reasons to keep this fish as a single specimen in an aquarium environment where it will thrive in its own space.

Predators (What animals prey on them)

Predators of the bumblebee goby include other fish, octopuses, and squids. The bumblebee goby is also preyed upon by humans who catch them to eat.

The bumblebee goby has a natural defense against predators such as octopus. They hide in coral reefs and have a special structure called an escape ramp which allows them to escape when they are threatened by a predator that can’t fit through the hole in the reef.

If a threat approaches from both sides, then it will try to change directions quickly to avoid being attacked. If there is not enough time for it to move then it will erect spines on its head and body.

Do they make good pets?

The bumblebee goby is a small, peaceful fish that would make a great addition to any marine aquarium. There are many reasons why the goby is such a popular fish for aquarists to keep.

These include their hardiness and ability to thrive in a range of conditions, whether it is saltwater or freshwater, as well as their vibrant colors and interesting behaviors. In general, they are easy to care for and will do best when kept with other invertebrates such as shrimps or crabs.

They can also be kept with other small fish but they will need room to swim because they are not very fast swimmers and can be bullied easily by more aggressive fish. If you’re looking for a pet that will add color to your home without demanding your time, this is a perfect choice!

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