BIOTIC Species Information for Gobius cobitis
Researched byKaren Riley Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byProf. Robert Patzner
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandThe distribution of Gobius cobitis in Britain is restricted to the south-west coast of England, from Wembury to the Isles of Scilly.
Global distributionFound in the eastern Atlantic, from the western English Channel to Morocco, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea (except north-west) and the Gulf of Suez.
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangeIntertidal to up to 10m
MigratoryInsufficient information   
Distribution Additional Information
  • The south-west coast of England represents the most northern limit of the giant goby's range.
  • Gobius cobitis is common within its geographical limits. Often seen 'basking' in direct sun on exposed patches within pools. It feeds on Ulva spp., crustaceans and polychaetes. Sublittoral pools inhabited by Gobius cobitis usually contain large boulders with a crevice large enough to shelter beneath and are devoid of gravel or sand. However, Gibson (1970) recorded gravel and stones on the bottom of their rock pools and Faria et al. (1998) noted that they preferentially occupied mixed bottom and sandy substratum. Usually, there is fresh water draining into the rock pools inhabited by Gobius cobitis. Upper shore rock pools are likely to experience extremes in temperature, light levels and salinity.
  • Despite previous records for Wembury and West Looe, Potts & Swaby (1992) found no Gobius cobitis within these areas and therefore assumed that populations had declined or were absent at that time. However, a record of Gobius cobitis was made at West Looe on 31 January 1998 by John Markham. Although there is no evidence that the species is endangered, it is potentially vulnerable to human interference due to its preferred shore habitat (Potts & Swaby, 1992). The giant goby is a very common inshore fish in the North East Atlantic and the Mediterranean (Miller, 1986).

Substratum preferencesRockpools
Under boulders
Physiographic preferencesOpen coast
Biological zoneSublittoral Fringe
Wave exposureSheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowInsufficient information
See additional information
SalinityVariable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Wheeler, 1994, Potts & Swaby, 1992, Gibson, 1970, Miller, 1986, Wheeler, 1993, Eno et al., 1997, Faria et al., 1998,
About MarLIN | Contact, Enquiries & Feedback | Terms & Conditions | Funding | Glossary | Accessibility | Privacy | Sponsorship

Creative Commons License BIOTIC (Biological Traits Information Catalogue) by MarLIN (Marine Life Information Network) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available at Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own terms and conditions and they may or may not be available for reuse. Based on a work at