September 3 2013,

Cryptocentrus gobies are such a marine staple that almost every beginner reefer would own one within their first few months of the hobby. The classic C. cinctus, or yellow watchman goby is a hardy, ubiquitous shrimp goby that is widely available.

Drawn by the charming symbiosis between shrimp gobies and pistol shrimp, the Cryptocentrus gobies, along with a multitude of other choices, quickly gained popularity. Keep reading for more information and a video on this goby-shrimp partnership.

C. leucostictus

Cryptocentrus albidorsus showing off its beautiful white cap and yellow rayed fins.

Unlike Stonogobiops, Cryptocentrus are larger and more burly. The genus is also not as colourful or striking as the smaller shrimp gobies. They are however, just as hardy and too make a fantastic companion to any Alpheus pistol shrimp.

We currently have in our possession a seldom seen member of this genus. Hailing from the Philippines, C. albidorsus is a beautiful white and black goby with spotted yellow fins. The interface between black and white is a starry combo of spots and grains.

While rare, this fish does make its appearance sporadically via Philippine imports. We had the chance to obtain two individuals, one being much smaller than the other. They turned out to be a rather willing pair and by the second day, were comfortably living together in a hole with a pair of Alpheus ochrostriatus pistol shrimps. Every tank would benefit from a harmless and entertaining pistol shrimp and goby combo.

If you’re tired of the standard fare and yearn for something more off the beaten track, then keep your eyes peeled for unusual species that are often sold erroneously as assorted gobies from the Philippines. Perhaps you would be keen in trying out shrimp gobies from less orthodox genera. Vanderhorstia, Flabelligobius, Lotilia and Tomiyamichthys are just some of them. Still not convinced that a shrimp and goby pair would be cool for your tank? Then check this video out and hopefully the wind will sway you in the right direction.



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