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Species: Acyrtus rubiginosus, Red Clingfish

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head and body: scattered blue spots
purple-red; sometimes dark or pale bars
fins not spotted
subopercular spine absent

Acyrtus rubiginosus (Poey, 1868)

Red Clingfish

Head relatively long and wide; top lip broad, much wider at front that at side; nostrils distinctly tubular; front nostril with a flap, usually with multiple tips; top jaw with a row of 8-9 blunt to weakly 3-pointed incisors at front, one row of 6-8 conical teeth at side, anterior side teeth enlarged; teeth on lower jaw a row of 8-9 blunt to weakly 3-pointed incisors at front, one row of 5-6 conical teeth at side, anterior teeth enlarged; lower corner of operculum with a small, ungrooved spine, without associated patch of granular tissue at its base; sucker disc large (length 27-32% SL), large C-shaped band of papillae at front (in 7-8 rows), without 2 small C-shaped patches of papillae at sides immediately behind that front band, center without 2 oval patches of papillae and rear with a large band of papillae (~8 rows, front papillae of that band enlarged; 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.

Ground color above and below purplish red; upper head and body often with small blue spots; body uniform red to paler with 6 dark red cross-bars: 1 between eyes, 1 across nape, 1 just before pectoral fin base; 3 on body (1st 2 with pale center lines): 1 before dorsal fin, 1 under dorsal fin, last one on tail base; dorsal, caudal and anal fins uncolored except for dark front to dorsal fin.

Reaches 3.6 cm.

Lives in rocky surge areas with boulders, common in tide pools in exposed areas, often with burrowing sea urchins.

Depth range: 0-4 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Sea Urchins
  • 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
  • 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
  • 3.6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 4