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Species: Acyrtus artius, Papillate Clingfish

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head red, dense white dots; iris red with white rings
body translucent, 4 dark bars & dense dark spots
D, A & C spotted
opercular spine large, grooved
sucker papillae: 2 extra patches behind front band

Acyrtus artius Briggs, 1955

Papillate Clingfish

Head relatively long (44-47% SL) and broad (78-89% of head length at level of eyes); top lip broad, much wider at front that at side; nostrils distinctly tubular; front nostril with a flap, usually with 2 tips; top jaw with a row of 8-9 blunt to weakly 3-pointed incisors at front, one row of 6-8 equal-sized conical teeth at side; teeth on lower jaw a row of 8-9 blunt to weakly 3-pointed incisors at front, one row of 5-6 equal-sized conical teeth at side; lower corner of operculum with a large, grooved venomous spine, with associated patch of granular tissue at its base; sucker disc large (length 29-36% SL), large C-shaped band of papillae at front (in 7-8 rows), 2 small C-shaped patches of 7-12 papillae at sides immediately behind that front band, center with 2 oval patches of papillae and rear with a large band of papillae (10-11 rows, front papillae of that band small; median fins short; 1 dorsal fin, at rear, no spines, 9; anal fin 7-8, like dorsal fin and under it; pectoral rays 24-27, lower 5-7 rays not markedly reduced in size; fleshy pad on lower pectoral base absent; tail rays 10; female with a large patch of small fleshy projections just before anus; anus slightly closer to sucker than to anal fin origin; no scales; lateral line present as pores on head only.

Head and front of body to level of pectoral fins reddish to red-orange; head finely speckled with white dots; iris dark red to red-orange, and a light red, cream or white inner ring, white outer ring; rear body translucent with densely packed, regularly arranged elongate red-brown spots, and with 4 red-brown bars from top to bottom of body: the 1st just behind pectorals, the 2nd between front of dorsal and anal fins, a 3rd behind those fins and the 4th at base of tail fin; dorsal, caudal and anal fins with bars formed by rows of red-brown spots on fin rays.

Reaches 3.3 cm.

Occurs on spur-and-groove and walls of outer reef faces, and on blades of fire coral.

Depth range: 8-20 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 3.3
Depth Range Min
  • 8
Depth Range Max
  • 20