Marbled Sand Goby (Oxyeleotris marmorata)
The Marbled Sand Goby in Thailand is the largest known gobioid fish, this species may reach 35.4 in (90 cm) total length. The Marbled Sand Goby has a torpedo-like body shape with flattened compressed head.
The armoured and carnivorous Marbled Sand Goby is also known as the Marbled Gudgeon or Marbled Sleeper and is a common sight on the muddy banks and pools of tidal rivers.
This species has an oblique, terminal mouth with two dorsal fins and rounded caudal fin and has a brown body with dark mottling giving a marbled camouflaged appearance.
The Marbled Sand Goby is a carnivorous member of the Eleotridae – Sleepers family of fishes which is widely distributed throughout the Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and western Borneo. The Marbled Sand Goby has also been reported from Luzon (Philippines), and subsequently been introduced into Taiwan for aquaculture.
The Marbled Sand Goby is a nocturnal hunter that prowls slow-moving streams, lakes, ponds and swamps.
During the daytime this fish rests at the bottom, taking cover among rocks, woody debris, or vegetation. This is thought to be typical behavior for most sleepers, hence the common name.
The Marbled Sand Goby primarily eats small fishes, but also takes crustaceans, insects, and mollusks. Larval fish in culture ponds feed on cladocerans, rotifers, chironomids, and brachiopods.
Marbled Sand Goby are highly prized food fish throughout Asia and may be declining in some parts of its native range due to overharvesting due to its popularity as an eating fish and for its reputed ‘medicinal healing properties’ by the Chinese community throughout Asia.
The Marbled Sand Goby can be caught whilst fishing in Thailand on prawns, worms and small ornamental live fish when free lined in quiet marginal areas.