Taxonomy and evolution
This fish was first described in 1960 by the Japanese ichthyologist
Nobuhiko Mizuno who gave it the name Tukugobius flumineus. It was later transferred to the genus Rhinogobius, becoming Rhinogobius flumineus. The name comes from the Greek, "rhinos", meaning nose, and the Latin, "gobius", meaning gudgeon; the specific name comes from the Latin "flumen" meaning river. This fish is commonly known as the "lizard goby" or in Japanese as "kawa-yoshinobori". Rhinogobius flumineus seems to have evolved from
Rhinogobius brunneus to which it is morphologically very similar. There is a trend for fish in the genus Rhinogobius to move from marine to freshwater habitats as they evolve, and R. brunneus is amphidromous (migratory) while R. flumineus inhabits land-locked river basins.