Identification: A very
small flattened fish with a triangular head. A single dorsal fin at the
rear of the body opposite the anal fin. Pelvic fins fused into a suction
cup. Variable bright colours, often an olive green with a white band across
the head when looking down from above and a stripe through the eye.
Similar species: Two-spotted
Diplecogaster bimaculata has a broader head.
Small crustaceans (probably).
South and west of the British
Isles. No BMLSS records from the east coast.
Inadequately recorded with
records of the Two-spotted Clingfish prior to 1971 may be this fish. Probably
quite common throughout its range but easily overlooked because of its
This very small fish (max
size 40 mm) is found in the shallow seas and between the tides in the south
and west of Britain. It is under-recorded and only receives the attention
of 'rockpoolers'. It is the most widespread
of four species of clingfish in the family Gobiesocidae found in British
seas. It was recently known as Apletodon microcephalus. This specimen
was captured and photographed by Robert Jones (of
Trowbridge) from the shore at Dorset. Young specimens have been
caught by John Barker and Andy Horton off Sussex.
This species has been confused with Diplogaster bimaculata, the
Information wanted: Please
send any records of this fish, with location, date, who discovered it,
how it was identified, prevalence, common name and any other details to
Project EMail Glaucus@hotmail.com.
All messages will receive
tide receded beyond the pier on Worthing beach
which was rather scantily inhabited by mobile fauna of interest to the
However, of special interest was the discovery of a young Small-headed
Apletodon dentatus in
a shallow weedy pool south of the pier.
under Worthing Pier
is getting dark as the tide reached its lowest point. When I delved around
in the bucket at home a Small-headed Clingfish,
dentatus, stuck to my hand.
clingfish is about 10 mm long
receded as far as I have known it uncovering all the rocks on Lancing
Beach. It was too dark to explore the exposed shore properly, but juvenile
Clingfish (probable ident.) were present
container containing the Clingfish was inverted and the pelvic sucker kept
the fish in place
Shrimp, Rissoides desmaresti,
and a Small-headed Clingfish, Apletodon
were also discovered
in the stomach of a Whiting
off Brighton, Sussex.
Report & Photographs
looking for welks on Harlosh
Bracadale, Isle of Skye,
I came across what I have identified as the Small-headed
Clingfish, Apletodon dentatus.
It had significant blue spots down either side, which i cant see on any
of the reference pictures, but had the same shape with its beak like head
and amazing sucker on its belly. I have been looking in rockpools
since I was a boy and have never seen suck a cool wee fish. There were
a few of these wee fish between 40 mm and 65 mm long.
.. Report by Keith
Jackson, Orbost Farm, Isle of Skye
most interesting discovery on an early morning low spring tide
at Lancing Beach were two Small-headed
dentatus, which I had not seen since 2005.
on other species:
of my former students, Robert Hofrichter, has done a lot of work on
(clingfish) in the Mediterranean and also some in the northern
have published some papers, some others are in preparation as well
page on Mediterranean clingfish.
candollei: this species has a well developed sexual
Males have strong red spots - mainly during spawning - on the
and on dorsal fins, females no or only very weak ones. If you need
informations please contact Robert Hofrichter:
R., Breining T., Patzner R.A., 2000: Habitat selection and
ecology of two Atlantic clingfish species,
Apletodon dentatus and
bimaculata at Brittany, France. Z. Fischkunde 5: 71-81.
R., Patzner R.A., 1997: A new species of Apletodon from the
Sea and the eastern Atlantic with notes on the
between Apletodon- and
Gobiesociformes: Gobiesocidae). Senckenbergiana biologica 77 (1)
R., Patzner R.A., 2000: Habitat and microhabitat of
clingfishes (Teleostei: Gobiesociformes: Gobiesocidae).
Mar. Biol.21: 41-53.
R., Patzner, R.A., 1996: Die Schildfische des Mittelmeeres. 1.
in Block- und Geröllfeldern. Das Aquarium 327: 30-35.
R., Patzner, R.A., 1996: Die Schildfische des Mittelmeeres. 2.
in Seegraswiesen und anderen Lebensräumen. Das Aquarium 329: 40-44.
R., Patzner, R.A.: Schildfische des Mittelmeeres im Aquarium.
48: 1993, 288-290.
R.A., HOFRICHTER R.: Schildfische in den Seegraswiesen des
DATZ 46: 1993, 440-443.
candollei Risso, 1810 Connemara Clingfish.
by David Fenwick Snr. (Aphotofauna)
rare on north European coasts.
(Bonnaterre, 1788) Shore Clingfish, Cornish
lepadogaster purpurea is the area subspecies.
by David Fenwick Snr. (Aphotofauna)
fish is very similar to the Connemara Clingfish,
Risso, 1810 but can be distinguished from
it by the two fringed flaps by each nostril which are clearly visible (Frances
lepadogaster is now regarded as Mediterranean species, and that our
species is Lepadogaster purpurea (David