Fresh Water Animals
of
Hawaii's Watersheds

Native Gobies:


O'opu nopili
Titcomb (1972) reports: "It can climb a vertical stone jar or wall by moving slightly it suction disc, first on one side then the other... The Nopili was greatly relished as food and also a favorite food with the priests. As the Nopili clings so will luck."

O'opu nopili
It often has a distinct black line running from the mouth to the tail. The very high first dorsal fin is the best positive identifying characteristic. This is a small (up to 7 inches; 18 cm), endemic herbivorous fish, found in all areas of the stream, but more abundant in the middle and higher reaches.


O'opu alamo'o
This is a rare goby, found only in the middle and upper reaches of pristine streams. The Hawaiian name, O'opu alama'o, refers to the belief that they represented two species. The female is olive to brownish all over, while the male is brownish on the head and pale yellow to bright red on the tail.

"Lentipes is diadromus as are most other prominent Hawaiian stream animals. Only postlarvae and small juveniles appear to actively migrate upstream. These migrants demonstrate superb climbing ability and are known to surmount single waterfalls 100 meters high, as well as a series of six falls surpassing 300 meters in combined drop. Mature Lentipes characteristically reside in the middle to upper reaches at elevations from about 50 to more than 500 meters" (Maciolek, 1977). These gobies may reach 6 inches in length.


(female)


(male)


O'opu nakea
This is the largest of the stream gobies, reaching 14 inches (35cm) in length and weighing up to 1/2 a pound. It is endemic to Hawai'i, omnivorous in it's eating habits and found in middle to lower reaches. The color pattern is distinctive. The dorsal fins are yelowish with black bars and the base of the tail is dark in color. This species occurs on all the larger Hawaiian islands. Probably becaus of it's large size and abundance, O'opua Nakea was a popular food fish among the Hawaiians.

O'opu naniha
This species is indigenous but not endemic, which means that it is found
naturally in Hawai'i, but is also found in other islands in the Pacific Basin.
It is omnivorous and found only in the lower reaches of the stream and in
estuaries. The head is marked by a dark band that extends under the eye
and on to the cheeck, and the body may be marked with 12 vertical bands.
Large specimens reach 6 inches (15 cm) in length.

Return to Hawaii's Watersheds Home Page
Last update= July, 1997 (Capers)