The code Gobiosoma robustum and clown Microgobius gulosus gobies were grown in the laboratory over 27 days at two salinities (5 and 35), two food levels [low (a fixed proportion of initial mass) and high (saturation)] and both with and without the presence of the other species. Both species exhibited greatest growth at the high food level and the low (5) salinity. Neither species was affected by the presence of the other species, and there were no overall differences in growth between the two species. Thus, the observed competitive superiority of G. robustum over M. gulosus does not seem to confer an advantage relative to feeding success. Furthermore, as growth of G. robustum was greater at the lower salinity, it is clear that some factor other than salinity is restricting this species from north-eastern Florida Bay. Additional work on the importance of predation and food resources in various regions of Florida Bay is needed to further evaluate the underlying mechanisms responsible for the bay-wide distribution of these species. ?? 2004 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.