Bumblebee Goby Fish (Brachygobius doriae)

bumblebee goby

Last updated on July 17th, 2022 at 06:31 am

The Bumblebee Goby Fish (Brachygobius doriae), also called bumblebee fish or
gobies fish freshwater, has an interesting look and interesting behaviors to match. The name Bumblebee Goby comes from the two yellow bumblebee stripes that run along its body and the fact that this species likes to hide in corals with only its mouth sticking out so it can ambush its prey.

Although this fish may be small (1.5 inches), if it’s threatened, it’s one of the most aggressive goby species in the aquarium trade, which can make it fun to watch but somewhat problematic if you want to house it with other fish.

They are excellent fish to use in saltwater aquariums, and they make great candidates for the beginning marine aquarist. They’re very hardy and don’t require specific water parameters to survive. Additionally, they’re rarely aggressive and will only occasionally pick on tank mates of equal size or smaller than themselves.

The Bumblebee Goby Fish (Brachygobius doriae) is also known as the Spotted Gum Goby, V-finned Mouthbrooder, and Black-banded Spotted Goby. It is one of many fish species that exhibit parental care with males guarding the eggs until the young are born and able to survive on their own.

They can grow up to 1.5 inches in length. They live in coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific waters of Indonesia.

Origin and descriptions

bumblebee goby

The bumblebee goby fish is commonly found in marine waters ranging from subtropical to tropical and even temperate conditions. Its abundance in such a wide variety of habitats makes it adaptable and popular among home aquarium owners.

Although its scientific name is Brachygobius doriae, it is often referred to as simply goby. This species lives up to its common name, gobies are characterized by their small size and slender body structure, which allows them to squeeze into tight spaces with ease.

They also possess an adhesive disc on their bellies that helps them cling to rocks and other surfaces. In addition, they have a protruding mouth that enables them to suck out food particles from crevices. These features make gobies excellent scavengers; they will eat any organic matter they can find.

Pelvicachromis Pulcher (Kribensis Cichlid)

Like many other fish species, however, bumblebee gobies must be kept in clean water at all times, or else they may develop health problems such as fin rot or swim bladder disease.

Species profile

The bumblebee goby fish belong to the family Gobiidae. They are known for their unique ability to change color and pattern, depending on where they live. In an aquarium, a bumblebee goby fish can be identified by its light yellowish-brown body with dark brown spots on top of its head and back. Its belly is a lighter shade of yellow.

Their eyes are red in color and have black pupils. Their fins will also have dark brown spots or stripes on them as well. When kept in captivity, a bumblebee goby fish should be kept in tanks that are at least 10 gallons in size. If there are multiple bumblebee gobies living together, then you may need larger tanks. A tank divider should be used so that each individual has his own territory within one large tank.

Scientific name

The bumblebee goby fish is scientifically known as Brachygobius doriae


Normally, bumblebee gobies inhabit slightly brackish ponds. Low salinity levels are crucial to the health of some fish in their tanks. Pure freshwater is perfectly fine for other fish.

The Brachygobius doriae is a small species of fish that lives in coral reefs and other waters of Indonesia. It is nocturnal, living primarily at night. During the daytime, it can be found burrowed into reef walls, holes, or crevices or hiding under ledges, rubble, and caves. It stays mostly hidden during daylight hours with only its head protruding.

It has been observed to leave these areas occasionally to feed on algae and detritus on hard surfaces such as rocks. In general, they are shy creatures but will show aggression if provoked.

They also do not tolerate other individuals being too close to their own territories; they will fight for their space if needed. They have been known to eat smaller fish as well as shrimp and crabs, so care should be taken when keeping them with others in an aquarium setting.

Banded Archerfish (Toxotes jaculatrix)

Bumblebee goby size

bumblebee goby

These species of fish are so small, growing only to 1.5 inches (4 cm) in length when fully grown.

Bumblebee goby tank size

Due to the small size, they can be kept in aquariums as small as 10 gallons (38 liters).

Tank requirements

The bumblebee goby fish likes an aquarium that’s at least 38 liters (10 gallons), but as it is a very peaceful species of fish, you can house more in a larger tank.

It prefers a sandy substrate, live rock or coral rubble for hiding places, and an under-gravel filter for circulation. Provide them with moderate lighting and some aquatic plants to keep them company.

This fish also requires plenty of places to hide and lots of live rock for grazing on algae. There should be no need to feed a Brachygobius doriae for up to two weeks after introducing them into their new home.

This allows them time to settle into their new environment and become accustomed to its inhabitants before being tempted by food. The most common cause of death for newly introduced bumblebee goby fish is starvation, so make sure they have enough time to get used to their surroundings before feeding them regularly.

They are omnivores that will eat flake food as well as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other meaty foods. They should be fed 2-3 times per day in small amounts.

Bumblebee goby tank mates

Bumblebee goby can live in brackish water along with different peaceful tempered fish species of similar size and ability, such as mollies and guppies. A bumblebee goby tank mate would be a fish that moves in the middle water layers or near the surface.

Bumblebee goby breeding

bumblebee goby

In the home aquarium, Bumblebee Gobies are bred as cave spawners. Males search for suitable spawning grounds, such as caves, flower pots, pipes, and shells, and display to females as they pass. Typically, 150-200 eggs are deposited/fertilized inside the cave when the female is receptive.

Golden Wonder Killifish (Aplocheilus lineatus)

The female then leaves the cave while the male guards the clutch. Usually, the eggs will hatch within 4-7 days depending on the temperature, and once free-swimming, the fry will need baby brine shrimp (Artemia nauplii).

After settling to the substrate after a few weeks, young gobies swim in the upper layers of the water.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

These fish are mostly peaceful, but they can become aggressive if their territory is threatened. They like to burrow in the sand with their snout, so when a potential threat approaches them from above, they will often try to scare it away by rapidly moving and shaking their head back and forth at it. In some instances, Brachygobius doriae has been known to bite down hard on an attacker’s tail or fin until they have a chance to escape.

Bumblebee goby care

bumblebee goby

The bumblebee goby is a very easy fish to care for, but it has special requirements. It needs an aquarium with lots of plants and rocks, as well as other fish that will not eat it. It should be kept in pairs or groups of three or more in an aquarium no smaller than 20 gallons (76 L). A pH level between 7.0 and 8.0, and a temperature between 72°F and 79°F (22°C-26°C), are ideal conditions for these tropical fish. They do best when fed several times a day.

What they eat

Feed them small amounts of meaty foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped fish fillets. They can also be fed flake food if they don’t get enough protein from live foods.

Bumblebee goby lifespan

They can live for around 3 years when cared for properly.

Parasites and diseases

The most common parasites, diseases, and infestations that these fish can be affected by are nematodes such as Hexamita sp., Oodinium sp., and Spironucleus vortens, Ciliates such as Ellobiopsidae species and Camallanus cotti, Flukes such as Gyrodactylus turnbulli and Henneguya zschokkei.

Dormitator maculatus (Fat Sleeper Goby)

There is also a condition called head and lateral line erosion which is caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium marinum. This disease causes a hole to develop in both sides of their head with severe damage to their lateral lines, which makes it hard for them to find food or avoid predators. This disease is often fatal if not treated quickly.


In its natural habitat, predators pose a threat to bumblebee goby fish. These include larger species of goby and other predatory fish. In captivity, few threats exist for these marine fish, save some issues related to water quality. You can keep your bumblebee goby healthy by using a quarantine tank with clean water while introducing new stock into your main aquarium and ensuring that their environment is suitable for habitation.

Some common predators are bigger species of goby fish, and other predatory fish like triggerfish, lionfish, and scorpionfish.

Do they make good pets?

The bumblebee goby is a popular aquarium fish, but it’s really not suitable for most beginner aquarists. Even if you keep your tank very clean, these fish will still produce a lot of waste and are prone to disease. The bright colors may attract your attention, but unless you’re a professional aquarist who can give them all of their needs, leave these creatures in their natural habitat.

They are relatively small fish and can be kept in smaller aquariums, but it does need strong filtration. It needs plenty of places to hide and will often spend time under live rocks or other décors in its tank. They are generally peaceful towards other fish, but they may prey on shrimps, snails, and invertebrates. However, they tend to scavenge more than hunt.