Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean: from the Philippines to the Society Islands, north to the Ryuku Islands south to Rapa and Lord Howe Islands, and throughout Micronesia. In Australia recorded from south western Western Australia, across the tropical north including the Gulf of Carpentaria, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef, south to central New South Wales.
Frequents sand and rubble areas of coastal reefs, lagoons and algal beds. Depth to 52 m, usually 2 - 20 m.
Variable colour from pale grey to dark brown, with a series of dark broken stripes and bars, ocellus on first dorsal fin and transparent part of tail fin. Usually close to a burrow, constructed by the male, where eggs are deposited and tended by the male parent. Eggs hatch after 3 or 4 days. Feeds by sifting mouthfuls of sand and filtering out small invertebrates and large amounts of algae. Grows to 15 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.386.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Amblygobius-phalaena.html. Accessed 04/08/18.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=amblygobius+phalaena. Accessed 04/08/18.