The family Eleotridae contains about 35 genera and 150 species, and of these most are found in the tropical Indo-Pacific. They are commonly known as sleepers, or gudgeons in Australia and New Guinea, and in New Zealand they are called bullies. The family is similar to Gobiidae but generally lacks the pelvic fin fusion that creates a “sucking disc” in gobies. The majority of eleotrids lives in brackish or fresh water. Only a few species are truly marine, but many fresh water species have a marine larval stage and return inland as juveniles. They are carnivorous, and in turn are eaten by humans in many parts of their range. Sixteen species of eleotrids are listed as near threatened or vulnerable to extinction. (Berra, 2001; Helfman, Collete, and Facey, 1997; Moyle and Cech, 2000; Nelson, 1994; The World Conservation Union, 2002; Wheeler, 1985)
- Berra, T. 2001. Freshwater Fish Distribution. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
- Helfman, G., B. Collete, D. Facey. 1997. The Diversity of Fishes. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Moyle, P., J. Cech. 2000. Fishes: An introduction to ichthyology – fourth edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Nelson, J. 1994. Fishes of the World – third edition. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
- Wheeler, A. 1985. The world encyclopedia of fishes. London: Macdonald.