Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Gobiesox punctulatus, Stippled Clingfish

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weak head papillae, none on top lip
nostril flap divided
D 11-12; pectoral 21 (19-22)
dense tiny olive dots, dark spots on head
sucker papillae: front 6 rows, center patches 1-2 rows

Gobiesox punctulatus (Poey, 1876)

Stippled Clingfish

Tadpole shaped, head broad, depressed; head with poorly developed sensory papillae, none on top lip edge or on snout above top lip; front nostril with a flap that divides into 2; 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 4-6 pairs of narrow incisors at front, a row of curved canines along side; 1 dorsal fin, at rear, no spines, 11-12; anal fin 7-8, like dorsal fin and under it; pectoral fin 21 (19-22), a large fleshy pad with free rear edge at base of fin, free rear edge of that pad extends to level of upper gill membrane attachment; sucker large, with papillae at front (a broad band, 6 rows deep), center (2 widely spaced patches, each with 1-2 longitudinal rows of papillae) & rear; anus about half way between sucker and anal fin origin; no scales; lateral line present as pores on head only.

Densely covered with tiny olive dots; larger dark dots scattered on top of head and nape; sometimes pale bars behind pectoral base, under front of dorsal fin, on tail base; fins dark to pale, a dark spot at front of dorsal fin; tail with a dark outer bar.

Reaches 6.4 cm.

Habitat boulders and rock faces in clear water.

Depth range: 0-3 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • 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)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
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
  • 6.4
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3