PORT PHILLIP BAY


Tasmanian Clingfish 

Aspasmogaster tasmaniensis (Günther, 1861)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 8-10
Anal fin spines/rays: 7-9
Caudal fin rays: 10-12
Pectoral fin rays: 24-26
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 4
Lateral line: -
Vertebrae: 32

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
Except for the shore eels of the genus Alabes, most gobiesocids have pelvic fins modified into an obvious sucking disc on the underside of the body. Clingfishes usually have large flattened heads and tapering compressed bodies, with small dorsal and anal fins positioned far back near the tail. They have fin spines and lack scales. Shore eels are elongate, moderately-compressed and eel-like, with long-based dorsal and anal fins united with the tail, and a gill slit on the underside. Their pelvic fins are either minute or absent, and they lack fin spines, pectoral fins and scales.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Gobiesocidae
Genus:
Aspasmogaster
Species:
tasmaniensis

General Description

Body robust, body tapering towards tail; head broadly flattened, snout pointed; dorsal and anal fins short-based, set far back on the body; tail base very short, caudal fin rounded; pelvic fins united into an obvious sucking disc on the underside; pectoral fins rounded; mouth small, almost tubular, lips prominent, with an obvious skinfold across snout. Alternating pale and darker wavy bands across the back and sides, bands variable in colour, from pale yellowish, brownish, pinkish or greenish, and sometimes with a dark stripe from snout, through eye and onto cheeks. To 8 cm.

Biology

This is the largest clingfish species in Port Phillip Bay. It hides under rocks and rubble around jetties and piers.

Habitat

On rocky reefs and rubble areas in bays, lagoons and along the coast, often under jetties and piers, in depths of 0-10 m.

Reefs

Distribution guide

Southern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Clingfishes and shore-eels

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

8 cm

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Identify

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Tasmanian Clingfish, Aspasmogaster tasmaniensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Jun 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6360

Text: creative commons cc by licence