Phylogeographical patterns of the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus (Gobiidae, Teleostei) were studied by means of sequence and single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis of a 283-bp fragment of the cytochrome b locus of the mtDNA. A total of 228 individuals sampled at 13 sites throughout the species's distributional range revealed a moderate level of diversity and a low but significant level of overall genetic differentiation at all but one site. The goby sample from the Adriatic Sea differed in sequence by approximately 10% from the Atlantic P. minutus and is thought to belong to a cryptic species of the genus Pomatoschistus. Limited genetic differentiation with a weak pattern of isolation-by-distance was recorded throughout the distributional range of the typical P. minutus. Phylogeographical analysis suggested a contiguous range expansion in the Atlantic and Baltic basins during the Eemian and evidence for a glacial refugium in the southern North Sea during the Weichselian. In P. minutus from the western Mediterranean Sea a high number of endemic haplotypes as well as the most common Atlantic haplotype were recorded in appreciable frequencies. This might be explained by secondary contact between different mitochondrial lineages, which evolved in allopatry.