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Lake Erie
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Also: Lake St. Clair
  Tubenose Goby
in the Great Lakes Region

What's New | Overview | Distribution Maps | Studies/Management Plans | Federal Resources | State/Provincial Resources
Current invaders:
Crustaceans: Rusty Crayfish | Spiny Water Flea
Fish: Goby (Round) | Goby (Tubenose) | Rudd | Ruffe | Sea Lamprey | White Perch
Mollusks: Quagga Mussel | Zebra Mussel
Plants: Curly-leaf Pondweed | Eurasian Watermilfoil | Phragmites (non-native) | Purple Loosestrife
Viruses: Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSv)
Potential invaders:
Fish: Asian Carp

[Invasive species home page]

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PhragmitesThe tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris)† is a bottom-dwelling fish from the rivers and estuaries of Eurasia, including tributaries of the Black and Caspian Seas.  Both the tubenose and the closely-related round gobies were first detected in the St. Clair River of the Great Lakes region in 1990. While the population growth of the round goby quickly escalated, the tubenose goby, smaller and less aggressive, has experienced a limited range expansion.  As a result, the tubenose has caused minimal impacts in the Great Lakes in comparison with the round goby.

PhragmitesThe tubenose goby prefers shallow-water habitats with abundant vegetation within the range of slightly brackish to fresh water. Male tubenose gobies guard their nesting sites defending the eggs and young. Females spawn multiple times during the warmer months of the year and as a result are rather prolific. The species can live up to five years; however, the males die after spawning. Tubenose gobies generally feed on aquatic insects and other benthic invertebrates, but also have been known to consume the larvae and fry of other fish. Their diet overlaps with that of rainbow darters and northern madtoms, and, thus, the tubenose may compete with these species for resources. Unlike round gobies, tubenose gobies do not feed on zebra mussels.

Photo credit: David Jude, University of Michigan SNRE, Center for Great Lake and Aquatic Sciences

For complete overview, identification and management:
View full, print-ready factsheet

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Distribution Maps
Geographic information on the location of aquatic invasive species sightings in the United States is made available through the U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) program.

NAS distribution maps for the tubenose goby

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Studies, Assessments and Management Plans
Expansion of tubenose gobies Proterorhinus semilunaris into western Lake Erie and potential effects on native species (2011)
Biol Invasions (2011) 13:2775–2784
Kocovsky, P.M., J.A. Tallman, D.J. Jude, D.M. Murphy, J.E. Brown, and C.A. Stepien. This study reports on the range expansion of tubenose gobies into new habitats in western Lake Erie. The authors discuss the genetic origins of the fish, the potential for future range expansion, mechanisms for expansion, and possible effects on native species.

Metazoan Parasites of Introduced Round and Tubenose Gobies in the Great Lakes: Support for the "Enemy Release Hypothesis" (2008)
Journal of Great Lakes Research
Y. Kvach and C. A. Stepien. (Abstract) This study shows support for the "Enemy Release Hypothesis," or the idea that newly established non-native species may be free of their native parasites, increasing the chance of population success. Authors compared the parasite load of invasive gobies in the Great Lakes with those in their native Eurasian habitats.

Mitochondrial DNA analysis of round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and tubenose goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus) in the Great Lakes basin (1996)
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Dougherty, John D., William S. Moore, and Jeffrey L. Ram. Authors of this study used the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to examine several aspects of the invading goby population, including genetic diversity, the existence of source populations in the Black Sea, and phylogenetic relationships within the Gobiidae family.

Round and Tubenose Goby Parasites (2009)
University of Toledo
This study analyzed the parasites of two exotic Eurasian gobies established in the Great Lakes since 1990: the round goby, Apollonia melanostoma and the tubenose goby, Proterorhinus semilunaris.

Tubenose Goby Phylogeny (2007)
University of Toledo
This study conducted an analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences and morphological characters from exotic Great Lakes as well as introduced and native Eurasian population sites of Proterorhinus marmoratus (Pallas). This broad scale study was the first comprehensive examination of the species’ characters across its range.

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U.S. and Canadian Federal Resources
Tubenose Goby
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Tubenose Goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus)
National Sea Grant Network, Geographic Education Alliances

Tubenose Goby Fact Sheet
U.S. Geological Survey - Nonindigenous Aquatic Species

State and Provincial Resources
Tubenose Goby
Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Tubenose Goby "Leaps" to Duluth/Superior
Minnesota Sea Grant

Tubenose Goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus)
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Tubenose Goby (Proterorhinus marmoratus)
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute

Tubenose Goby Distribution Map
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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Updated: December 12, 2017
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