Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Tomicodon rupestris, Barred Clingfish, Surge Clingfish

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back: 6 hourglass saddles
lower body: 8-13 narrow dark V bars
top 1/2 pectoral base: dark botch
front nostril - tiny flap
sucker: front edge rough, with flaps

Tomicodon rupestris (Poey, 1860)

Barred Clingfish, Surge Clingfish

Body and head relatively slender (both viewed from above); front nostril with a tiny skin flap; front of both jaws with a single row of flattened incisors, some with 3 points; top jaw with 2 canines, 10 incisors, lower jaw 2 canines, 6-8 incisors; a small fleshy swelling at pectoral base; 1 dorsal fin, at rear, no spines, 8-9 (7-10); anal fin like dorsal fin and under it, origin under dorsal ray 2-5, 7-8 (6-9) rays; pectoral 20-22; only a small fleshy swelling at pectoral base; sucker disc with broad patches of papillae at front (6-7 rows) and rear (6-7 rows) but no papillae in center. front edge of disc rough, with fleshy tabs; tail fin 10-12 segmented rays; anus midway between sucker and anal fin origin; no scales; lateral line present as pores on head only.

Pale whitish brown above, lower head and body white; several narrow bars radiating down from eye, that under center of eye triangular; 5-6 dark hourglass saddles on upper head and back; lower side of body with 8-13 narrow dark V bars with broader pale interspaces; dorsal fin with a large dark blotch covering base of rays 1-4/5; tail fin pale, with a dark crescent bar at base and, sometimes, a large dark blotch in center of fin; pectoral base with a dark blotch on upper half that extends onto bases of upper half of rays, lower half translucent.

Reaches 3.4 cm.

Rocky surgy shallows.

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
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 3.4
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 3