Cryptocentrus leptocephalus, commonly known as the yellow watchman goby or slender watchman goby, is a species of small marine fish belonging to the family Gobiidae. It is native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Maldives, Indonesia, and the Great Barrier Reef.
The yellow watchman goby is named for its vibrant yellow coloration, which can vary in intensity and may have pattern variations. It has an elongated, slender body with a rounded snout and large eyes. Like other gobies, it has a fused pelvic fin that forms a disc-shaped sucker, which it uses to attach itself to substrates such as rocks or corals.
The yellow watchman goby is a carnivorous fish that feeds primarily on small invertebrates and tiny crustaceans. In an aquarium, it can be fed a varied diet consisting of high-quality frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other small meaty preparations. It may also accept some pellet or flake foods, but a mix of live and frozen foods is generally recommended to ensure a balanced diet.
One of the notable characteristics of the yellow watchman goby is its symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimps. It forms a mutualistic bond with specific species of pistol shrimps, where the goby acts as a lookout for the shrimp, while the shrimp provides a burrow for both to inhabit. The goby uses its excellent vision to alert the shrimp of potential threats, and in return, the shrimp shares its burrow with the goby for protection.
In an aquarium setting, providing a suitable habitat for the yellow watchman goby involves recreating the symbiotic relationship with a pistol shrimp. It is important to provide a substrate with sandy or fine gravel, as the shrimp and goby rely on burrows for shelter. Additionally, the aquarium should have ample hiding spots and live rock for the goby to explore and establish territories.
This species is generally peaceful and can be kept in a community aquarium with other small, non-aggressive fish species. However, it may display territorial behavior towards other gobies or similar fish that encroach upon its chosen burrow or territory. It is important to provide adequate hiding spots and space to minimize potential conflicts.