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Species: Gobiesox barbatulus, Lappetlip Clingfish

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head papillae: large, center top (not snout), under eye
nostril - large, fringed flap
D 10-12; pectoral 22-27
many short dark lines; 12 lines radiate from eye
sucker papillae: front 7-10 rows, center patches 3-5 rows.

Gobiesox barbatulus Starks, 1913

Lappetlip Clingfish

Tadpole shaped, head broad, depressed, with well developed barbell like papillae; papillae on center of top lip, but none on snout above top lip, well developed barbells under and before eye; front nostril with a large fringed flap; top lip broad, much wider at front than at sides; top jaw with a deep patch of conical teeth at front, with canines or conical teeth on sides; lower jaw with 2 rows (outer row larger) of 1-3-round pointed incisors at front, a row of curved canines along side; 1 dorsal fin, at rear, no spines, 10-12; anal fin 8-9, like dorsal fin and under it; pectoral fin 22-27, a large fleshy pad with free rear edge at base of pectoral fin, free rear edge of that pad extends above to level of upper gill membrane attachment; sucker large, with papillae at front (a broad band, 7-10 rows deep), center (2 widely spaced patches, each with 3-5 longitudinal rows of papillae) & at rear; anus usually midway between sucker and anal fin origin, but may be nearer either of those; no scales; lateral line present as pores on head only.

Head and body with many short dark streaks; ~12 lines radiating from above, behind and below eye; dorsal, anal and tail fins dark, more so nearer edges, outer margins pale.

Reaches 5.4 cm.

Habitat: rocky intertidal and red mangroves in brackish water.

Depth range: 0-1 m.

The NW and SE Caribbean; Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mangrove
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5.4
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 1