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Species: Tomicodon zebra, Zebra clingfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

front nostril: medium flap
D 7-8
pectoral 19-21
red & green wiggly lines + 5 dark "hour-glass" bars
blotch over pectoral
anus nearer sucker than A

Tomicodon zebra (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)

Zebra clingfish

Body relatively slender, elongate, head relatively slender (both viewed from above); front nostril with medium (height = distance between front & rear nostrils) skin flap; rear nostril behind front edge of eye; 4-5 pairs of upper & 3 pairs of lower 3-pointed incisors, followed by large canines - 2 on top jaw, 1-3 on lower; anus nearer sucker than anal fin origin; pectoral 19-21 rays; only a small fleshy swelling at pectoral base; sucker disc with broad patch of papillae at front, no papillae in center, 6-8 rows of papillae across rear section; dorsal 7-8 rays; anal 6-7 rays; tail 8 rays.

Top olive to pink or red, top of back with 5 red-brown to black cross-bars, often in hour-glass shapes, 2 front ones broader & more distinct; large black spot on side above base of pectoral fin, at base of 1st  bar; bars fade out on sides, which are blackish or with small spots &/or wiggly lines; top of head and between hour-glass bars with red wriggly lines, marbled with blue-grey, operculum with black blotch, cheeks sometimes with 2-3 bluish streaks; dorsal, pectoral & tail dusky, anal and pelvics pale; usually a dark bar on base of tail, another across middle of fin.

Size: 5.6 cm.

Habitat: rocky bottoms.

Depth: 0-10 m?

Southern Baja and the SW and eastern Gulf of California to El Salvador.


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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • No Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 5.6
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10