Dorsals contiguous: lower jaw a very little the longest: distance between the eyes not equal to their diameter.
G. niger, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. I. p. 449. Sea-Gudgeon, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 206. tab. N. 12. f. 1. Black Goby, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 213. pl. 38. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 251. Le Boulereau noir, Cuv. Beg. An. torn. ii. p. 243.
From four to five, rarely six, inches.
(Form). Elongated, the anterior extremity depressed, the posterior compressed and tapering: depth one-sixth of the entire length; thickness more than three-fourths of the depth: line of the back nearly straight; abdominal line bellying a little behind the ventral fins: head rather large, as broad as the body, somewhat more than one-fourth of the whole length: snout blunt and rounded; gape wide; lower jaw a very little the longest: fine card-like teeth, in several rows, the inner rows much smaller than the outer: eyes large, placed on the upper part of the head, approximating; the distance between barely three-fourths of their diameter: gill:opening much contracted: head naked; marked on the cheeks and before the eyes with several dotted lines, consisting of very minute papillae: from the occiput to the first dorsal a shallow groove: body covered with large scales of a semicircular form, the free edges of which are finely ciliated: lateral line straight along the middle, rather indistinct: first dorsal commencing at one-third of the whole length, excluding caudal; spines very slender and flexible, a little unequal in height; fourth longest, equalling three-fourths of the depth; from the last ray the membrane passing on, falls gradually till it terminates at the base of the first ray in the second dorsal: this last with fourteen rays, nearly of equal height, the middle ones somewhat exceeding the others, equalling the longest of the spinous rays; all articulated, and, except the first, branched: anal answering to second dorsal, but commencing a little nearer the tail, and not extending quite so far; rays similar: caudal rounded; rays branched: pectorals the length of the head, of an oval-oblong form, with the middle rays longest; all the rays branched: vent-rals forming by their union a funnel-shaped cavity; rays very unequal; the central ones, which are longest, somewhat shorter than the pectorals:
B. 5; D. 6 - 14; A. 12; C. 13, and some short; P. 19; V. 10, when united: vent exactly in the middle; immediately behind it a little conical papilla. (Colours). Deep olive-brown, variegated with dusky spots and streaks: dorsals dusky brown, variegated with whitish.
Found on many parts of the coast, but not in any abundance. Sometimes called Rock-Fish, from the power which they are said to possess of affixing themselves to the rocks by means of their united ventrals, though, according to Fleming, these fins are not capable of acting as a sucker. It is probable that under the name of Gobius niger several species have been confounded. That figured by Bloch is evidently distinct from our British one, differing from it in having sixteen rays in the second dorsal, and the jaws of equal length. The G. niger of Donovan and Fleming refers to the next species.