Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Gobiesox strumosus, Skilletfish, Skilletfish Clingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

big head papillae, large along top lip
nostril flap divided, smooth edges
D 10-12; pectoral 24 (22-26)
dark, reticulating mottling, 6 lines radiate from eye
sucker papillae: front 7-10 rows, center patches 3-5 rows

Gobiesox strumosus Cope, 1870

Skilletfish, Skilletfish Clingfish

Tadpole shaped, head broad, depressed; head with well developed papillae, those along top lip edge large, none on center snout above top lip; no barbells or only small bumps under and before eye; front nostril with a 2 lobed flap that has smooth edges; 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, 10-12; anal fin 8-9, like dorsal fin and under it; pectoral fin 24 (22-26), 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, 7-10 rows deep), center (2 widely spaced patches, each with 3-5 longitudinal rows of papillae) & rear; tail fin 10-12; anus usually nearer anal fin origin than sucker but sometimes half way; no scales; lateral line present as pores on head only.

Dark olive brown; 3 lines radiating down and forward from front of eye, 3 back from upper rear of eye; head and body with dark reticulated mottling, lines and spots; tail base with a dark bar; sometimes a dark spot at front base of dorsal and anal fins.

Reaches 8 cm.

Grassy areas and rockpools, salt to brackish water.

Depth range: 0-17 m.

New Jersey to the NW Caribbean.

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Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sponges
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Estuary
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Detritus
  • Insects
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 17