Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Arcos poecilophthalmos, Galapagos red clingfish

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front nostril: wide branched flap
head - white bar through eyes
back & sides - white spots
top jaw no canines

Arcos poecilophthalmos (Jenyns, 1842)

Galapagos red clingfish

Tadpole shaped, with flattened body and wide flattened head; front nostril with  a wide branched flap; a few fleshy lobes under chin, but nowhere else on head; top lip broad, much wider at front than at sides; upper jaw with only compressed incisors, no canines; lower jaw with 2-3 pairs of incisors followed on each side by 3-4 canines;sucker very large, front and rear parts with a broad band of papillae, central part with 2 close-set patches of papillae,  10-12 rows of flattened papillae across front of sucker disc, 10-11 rows across rear of disc, 5-7 longitudinal rows on each central patch; a well developed flattened fleshy pad on pectoral base with a free posterior margin ; dorsal rays 8; anal rays 7; pectoral rays 23-24; caudal rays 8-10.

Pinkish to grey brown with maze-like pattern of green bands; scattered white spots on back and sides and whitish lines or bands between eyes and on cheek.

Size: grows to at least 5.0 cm.

Inhabits surge zone along rocky shores.

Depth: 5-30 m.

Galapagos Islands, and Cocos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Galapagos Islands endemic
  • TEP oceanic island (s) endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Island (s) only
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 30