No doubt one of the features that helps us to relate to, and be fascinated by, aquarium fish is their large, noticeable eyes. Saltwater fish in particular can have such large and colorful eyes adorned with both colors and features, that it’s sometimes possible to identify a fish based solely on a picture of their eyes.
This idea is fully expressed in the recent overview of the Eviota dwarf gobies, one of the most numerous genera of tropical reef fish. Dr. David Greenfield has described most of the species we’ve shared on the website over the last decade and he put a particular focus on the eyes of the Eviota for helping to identify the different species.
With 116 species of Eviota, this genus is second only to the Gymnothorax eels in overall numbers but they have much nicer looking peepers. Although their eyes might be only a few millimeters across, the various species of Eviota have each evolved to have very interesting looking eyeballs, both in terms of color and pattern, and the face around them.
Live eye-color patterns of various species of Eviota: 1) E. algida (M.V. Erdmann); 2) E. tetha (M.V. Erdmann); 3) E. teresae (R. Whitworth); 4) E. bilunula (R. Whitworth); 5) E. cometa (R. Whitworth); 6) E. fallax (G.R. Allen); 7) E. flebilis (K. Yano); 8) E. infulata (J.E. Randall); 9) E. melanosphena (A. Gonzáles-Cabello); 10) E. natalis (G.R. Allen); 11) E. nigriventris (M.V. Erdmann); 12) E. piperata (M.V. Erdmann); 13) E. ancora (H. Kanehara); 14) E. dorsogilva (J. Eyre); 15) E. pamae (G.R. Allen); 16) E. karaspila (J.E. Randall); 17) E. korechika (M.V. Erdmann); 18) E. randalli (D.W. Greenfield); 19) E. winterbottomi (M.V. Erdmann); 20) E. cf. sigillata (J.E. Randall); 21) E. oculopiperita (S.V. Bogorodsky); 22) E. pellucida (K. Kanehara); 23) E. susanae (J.E. Randall); 24) E. rubriguttata (H. Kanehara); 25) E. atriventris (R. Patzner); 26) E. prasina (S.V. Bogorodsky); 27) E. rubriceps (M.V. Erdmann); 28) E. rubrisparsa (J.E. Randall); 29) E. zebrina (S. V. Bogorodsky); 30) E. dorsopurpurea (J.E. Randall); 31) E. santanai (M.V. Erdmann); 32) E. nigrispina (H. Kanehara); 33) E. pinocchioi (M.V. Erdmann); 34) E. albolineata (J.E. Randall); 35) E. prasites (H. Kanehara); 36) E. mikae (R. Patzner).