Shore clingfish

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Shore clingfish
Lepadogaster lepadogaster 1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gobiesociformes
Family: Gobiesocidae
Genus: Lepadogaster
L. lepadogaster
Binomial name
Lepadogaster lepadogaster
(Bonnaterre, 1788)
  • Cyclopterus lepadogaster Bonnaterre, 1788
  • Cyclopterus lepadogaster Walbaum, 1792
  • Piescephalus adherens Rafinesque, 1810
  • Lepadogaster gouanii Risso, 1810
  • Lepadogaster balbis Risso, 1810
  • Lepadogaster ciliatus Risso, 1820
  • Lepadogaster natator Risso, 1820
  • Lepadogaster biciliatus Risso, 1827
  • Lepadogaster brownii Risso, 1827
  • Lepadogaster zebrina Lowe, 1839
  • Lepadogaster acutus Canestrini, 1864
  • Lepadogaster adriatica Hankó, 1920-21

The shore clingfish, Lepadogaster lepadogaster, is a clingfish of the family Gobiesocidae, found in the eastern Atlantic from Republic of Ireland and Britain, where it is more commonly known as the Cornish sucker,[2] although this name is more normally applied to Lepadogaster purpurea, and in the Mediterranean, between latitudes 46° N and 30° N. L. lepadogaster often inhabits underwater boulder fields consisting of smooth rocks and large pebbles.[3] Its length is up to 65 mm. L. lepadogaster is also classified as a cryptobenthic fish. Cryptobenthic simply means that the fish is both behaviorally and visually cryptic.[4] The term is also used mainly to describe adult fish of a certain size, roughly around 5 cm in length.[5]

The clingfish gets its name from the ability of the fish to attach itself to the rock walls of the ocean shore. It does this by having pelvic fins that have been adapted to form suckers. These suckers keep the clingfish strongly attached to the rocky surfaces off the shorelines. In addition to these suckers, the front fins of the clingfish are much stronger to aid in clinging to the rocks. The clingfish has other adaptations that allow it to inhabit rocky surfaces and reduce predation. For instance, the clingfish has a triangular shaped head and a flattened body. These characteristics allow the clingfish to reduce the drag of the water from the waves pushing and pulling against it.[6] L. lepadogaster also has distinct differences from the other species of Lepadogaster. For one, L. lepadogaster has a much more active lifestyle than the species L. purpurea. This is evident in both L. lepadogaster's swimming speed and in its more frequent feeding periods[7]

The cornish sucker survives by consisting on a diet of mostly detritus material, meaning that it lives off the dead organic matter of its environment.


  1. ^ Francour, P.; Goren, M.; Bilecenoglu, M. & Tunesi, L. (2011). "Lepadogaster lepadogaster". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T194812A9140987. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T194812A9140987.en.
  2. ^ "Cornish Sucker Fish (Lepadogaster lepadogaster)". The Seashore. Field Studies Council. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  3. ^ Hofrichter, R. and Patzner, R. A. (2000), Habitat and Microhabitat of Mediterranean Clingfishes (Teleostei: Gobiesociformes: Gobiesocidae). Marine Ecology, 21: 41–53. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0485.2000.00689.x
  4. ^ Depczynski, M., & Bellwood, D. R. (2003). The role of cryptobenthic reef fishes in coral reef trophodynamics. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 256, 183-191.
  5. ^ "Lepadogaster lepadogaster summary page".
  6. ^ Marlin site
  7. ^ Gonçalves, D. M., Gonçalves, E. J., Almada, V. C. and Almeida, S. P. (1998), Comparative behaviour of two species of Lepadogaster (Pisces: Gobiesocidae) living at different depths. Journal of Fish Biology, 53: 447–450. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1998.tb00992.x

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