BIOTIC Species Information for Gobius couchi
Researched byKaren Riley Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byProf. Robert Patzner
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandThis species has only been recorded from four locations in the British Isles: Helford in south Cornwall; Bill of Portland, Dorset; Lough Hyne, Co. Cork, Ireland; and Mulroy Bay, Co. Donegal, Ireland.
Global distributionCouch's goby has recently been recorded at Naples in the western Mediterranean and in the Adriatic Sea.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth range0.5 to 16 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information
  • Gobius couchi was discovered relatively recently, in 1974, and is considered to be a resident of three locations in the British Isles. However, it was recorded in 1998 in the western Mediterranean (Ischia Island, Naples, Italy) (Stefanni & Mazzoldi, 1999), and, more recently, in the Kvarner region of the Adriatic Sea (Kovacic, 2001) suggesting that the distribution of the species may be wider.
  • Couch's goby occurs in fully saline water. Both Irish localities where the goby is found are sheltered and have reduced tidal ranges (Minchin, 1988). At Lough Hyne and Mulroy bay there are well-established populations. Couch's goby ranges in depth from 0.5 to 16 m at Lough Hyne and 3-14 m depths at Mulroy bay (Minchin, 1987). It tends to be found with stones in shallow water, boulders at greater depths and also with shell debris. Gobius couchi was noted to be the most dominant species present in some areas.
  • Helford is a sheltered, land-locked habitat. In this environment Gobius couchi is normally associated with flat stones or muddy sand with shells and pebbles present (Minchin, 1988). They are also exposed at low water spring tides. Potts & Swaby (1991) observed that the population at this site has diminished over the last 10 years.
  • The salinity preferences of Gobius couchi lie between 25-35 psu.

Substratum preferencesPebbles
Under boulders
Fine clean sand
Muddy sand
Sandy mud
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneSublittoral Fringe
Wave exposureSheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowInsufficient information
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Wheeler, 1994, Stefanni & Mazzoldi, 1999, Minchin, 1987, Minchin, 1988, Potts & Swaby, 1991, Eno et al., 1997, JNCC, 1999, NBN, 2002, Kovacic, 2001,
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