MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Small-headed clingfish (Apletodon dentatus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Apletodon dentatus is a small fish reaching up to 4 cm in length. It has a depressed triangular head when viewed from above. It has single dorsal and anal fins that are rounded in shape and short and are positioned near the tail. The tail itself is rounded, as is the pectoral fin. The pelvic fin is a specialised sucking disc. The small-headed clingfish is variable in colour, often green with darker mottling, or maroon spotted with mahogany, and large white dorsal spots. Adult males may display a large black or purple spot on the dorsal and anal fins and purple areas on the throat.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found in the western English Channel and in the northern Irish Sea and south-west Scotland.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

The small-headed clingfish is a coastal benthic species although little is known about its habitat preferences.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Up to 4 cm in length.
  • Depressed triangular head.
  • Rounded fins with the dorsal and anal fins set far back on the body.
  • Sucking disc under the body in line with the pectoral fins.
  • Scales absent.

Additional information

The small-headed clingfish is very hard to distinguish from similar species other than by colouration, and can only usually be distinguished by the proportional sizes of it main exterior features (given by Whitehead et al., 1986).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2008-02-18

  2. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  3. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  4. OBIS,  2017. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2017-11-21

  5. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Apletodon dentatus Small-headed clingfish. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/148

Last Updated: 02/06/2008