The Post – Under the Pier: Creature Features – Naked Gobies

The Naked Goby, alias Gobiosoma bosci

Naked Gobies live in the shallow marshes, mud flats and oyster reefs of the bay’s waters. Bottom-dwellers, they resemble small lizards. They are small fish, about 2 1/2 inches long, with large eyes, dark green tops and pale below, and 8-9 vertical bars along the sides. Their pelvic fins are used as suction cups to hold them to rocks and shells. Since they have no scales, they’re called “naked gobies.”

They live in the bay all year, feeding on worms, and amphipods (such as sand fleas), and being eaten by eels, sand shrimp and larger fish. Though there are many gobies living in the bay, they are often not noticed as they are solitary reclusive fish. They will often hide in empty, still-hinged clam and oyster shells, or in human trash, such as cans, bottles, and tires.

(Reference: The Uncommon Guide to Common Life of Narragansett Bay, 1998, Save the Bay)

For this first effort, I did both the oil painting and the pen & ink/watercolor wash drawing, trying to figure out what works best. I still don’t know. The oil painting is richer and I have greater control over nuances and color. The pen and ink allows greater control when sketching details, but less control with color in the watercolor washes.

The other aspect is the following artwork is more “a book scene” – with the fish shown in the context of the scene’s location. Actual glossary entries should be more restricted, showing just a closeup of the creature. So in the future, I’ll probably stick to that. But for now, I introduce, Naked gobies.

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