Biodiversity & Conservation

Shore clingfish - Lepadogaster lepadogaster

Lepadogaster lepadogaster

Image Sue Daly - Lepadogaster lepadogaster, clingfish. Image width ca 3 cm.
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Distribution map

Lepadogaster lepadogaster recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

Why do the maps differ?

Sightings Have you seen Lepadogaster lepadogaster?
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Lepadogaster lepadogaster is not listed under any importance categories.

Taxonomy icon Taxonomy Taxon English term
Phylum Chordata Sea squirts, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals
Class Actinopterygii Ray-finned fish, e.g. sturgeon, eels, fin fish, gobies, blennies, and seahorses
Authority (Bonnaterre, 1788)
Recent synonyms None
Map icon Recorded Distribution in Britain and Ireland South west England, Wales, south west Scotland and Ireland.
Habitat information icon Habitat information The shore clingfish is an intertidal species inhabiting rock pools and seaweed covered shores throughout the year. It is also found attached to the underside of overhanging rock crevices.
Text page icon Description The body is dorso-ventrally flattened with a broad triangular head and 'duck billed' snout. The pelvic fins are modified into a thoracic sucking disc that allows the shore clingfish to adhere to rocky substrates. Conspicuous features include large tentacles in front of each nostril and a blue spot outlined in red or dark brown behind each eye. The colour of the body varies from reddish to green with irregular brown markings over the dorsal surface. Two deep blue spots with yellow margins behind the eyes on the back. Adapted front fins to 'cling' to rocks.
Identifying features
  • Dorso-ventrally flattened body, up to 8 cm in length.
  • 'Duck-billed' snout.
  • Pelvic fins modified into a sucker.
  • Large tentacles in front of each nostril.
  • Blue spot behind each eye.
  • Variable colour from reddish to green with irregular brown markings.
Additional information icon Additional information The eggs of the shore clingfish are golden in colour and are laid underneath stones or attached to rocks. These are then guarded by either parent.

This review can be cited as follows:

Kate Reeds 2008. Lepadogaster lepadogaster. Shore clingfish. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/11/2015]. Available from: <>