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Related FAQs: Clingfishes

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/The Conscientious Reef Aquarist

Clingfishes, Family Gobiesocidae

Bob Fenner

Discotrema crinophila

At times regarded as an Order of advanced bony fishes (Gobiesociformes) or a suborder of the Perciforms (Gobiesocoidei), the Clingfishes are a sizable group (36 genera, about 120 species) of small (most under 7 cm.) freshwater, brackish and marine fishes rarely seen in the ornamental aquatics trade. This could change (likely so) with an increasing emphasis on "reef" systems displaying more esoteric commensal relations between species of invertebrates and fishes... as many Clingfishes are found in such associations (mainly with crinoids and urchins).

     Mostly marine bottom-dwellers (lack swim-bladders), almost all with pelvic fins modified into a sucking disk (hence their common name).

Diademichthys lineatus (Sauvage 1883), the Urchin Clingfish. Indo-West Pacific; Oman, Mauritius, Southern Japan, GBR. To 5 cm. Almost always found in and amongst Diadema urchin spines. N. Sulawesi and Mabul, Malaysia pix.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
Discotrema crinophila Briggs 1976, Crinoid Clingfish. Western Pacific; Southern Japan, Fiji to GBR. To 3 cm. N. Sulawesi pic.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
Gobiosox maeandricus (Girard 1858), the Northern Clingfish. Eastern Pacific; Southern Alaska to Mexico's Islas Revillagigedos. To sixteen cm. Found on rocky shores and high on kelp, even out of water at times. Monterey Bay Aquarium pic.

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