The clingfish (Gobiesocidea) are a numerous family with
33 genera with over 100 species. The clingfish have a large ventral
sucking disk formed by the ventral fins.
The clingfish are difficult to
identify in part because of their small size. The Spade-nose clingfish and
the Spiny clingfish are found when hand netting in shallow
seagrass. The Grass clingfish was found in 2-3 meters of water.
Spade-nose clingfish (Cochleoceps spatulata; Gunther 1861) is reasonably
common and widely distributed in Posidonia seagrass in coastal areas of
South Australia and S.W. Western Australia. Cochleoceps spatulata can vary
in color from green to quite dark depending on the age and condition of
(above) specimens are from Marion Bay, South
Australia, and the other from Ceduna, South Australia.
Spiny clingfish (genus A species 1; Gomon et al. 1994 p 308) is found from
South Australia to S.W. Western Australia. Common in sheltered seagrass
including mixed Posidonia and Amphibolus. The figured specimens were
from Ceduna, South Australia. The Spiny clingfish grows to about 3.5 cm.
Grass clingfish (probably (genus C species 1; Gomon et al. 1994 p 310) has
been previously recorded from the Bass Straight and S.W. Western
Australia. Seagrass and adjacent reefs (Gomon et al. 1994).
However, the figured specimens were photographed at Normanville, Gulf St
Vincent, South Australia (David Muirhead pers. com.).
Dave Muirhead “Many shots contain at least 2 grass clingfish (prob. genus
C species 1) for example the image featuring a spotted pipefish as main
subject also contains 2 clingfish and gives a good size perspective.”
Gomon, M., Glover, C. and Kuiter, R. (eds.) (1994) The Fishes of
Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide, South Australia. 992p