|The yellow watchman goby—sometimes called the yellow prawn-goby, banded prawn goby or yellow shrimp-goby—is a small western Pacific fish that shares a burrow with an alpheid shrimp (a.k.a. pistol shrimp). We think this fascinating relationship is one of the most interesting to observe in a marine aquarium, but don’t take our word for it, get a pair and see firsthand during this very unusual offer!
The yellow watchman goby is one of two color phases for this species and can be readily identified by way of its bright coloring, pale blue to white spotting and four or five faint dusky bars. In the wild, this fish inhabits sandy areas in shallow lagoons and protected coastal bays, and, as such, it requires an aquarium with a sand bed in which it can borrow. One of twenty-some odd species in the genus Cryptocentrus, the yellow watchman goby is one of the most popular shrimp gobies.
Why is this goby so popular? For starters, it is a beautiful, attention-getting fish that can be the perfect centerpiece of a nano tank or a fantastic inhabitant of a larger, community reef tank. While its appearance might first get your attention, however, it is its behavior when paired with a pistol shrimp that will captivate you. The two live in the same burrow and appear to rely on one another for protection and an advantage when feeding.
In addition to its color and behavior, the yellow watchman goby remains relatively small, and, as a result, it does not make as much of a mess as other digging gobies. Neither the yellow watchman goby nor the shrimp will pose a risk to any other animals in the system besides other shrimp gobies (best to keep just one shrimp goby or a mated pair unless the tank is very large). Larger predators will likely harass the goby, so the community tank should be a relatively peaceful community tank.