PORT PHILLIP BAY


Broadhead Clingfish 

Cochleoceps bassensis Hutchins, 1983

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 5-6
Anal fin spines/rays: 5-6
Caudal fin rays: 11-12
Pectoral fin rays: 24-26
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 4
Lateral line: -
Vertebrae: 33-34

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:
Cochleoceps
Species:
bassensis

General Description

Body robust, tapering towards the tail; head broadly flattened; dorsal and anal fins short-based, set far back on the body; tail base of moderate length, caudal fin rounded; pelvic fins united into a large sucking disc on the underside with a fleshy fringe on the posterior edge; snout prominent, triangular when viewed from above, snout tip rounded. Head and body covered in large close-set red spots or blotches over a paler background. To 7 cm.

Biology

An endemic species found in temperate waters of southern Australia.

Habitat

Rarely found inshore, prefering sponge gardens on deeper offshore reefs, in depth of 0-40 m.

Reefs

Sponge gardens

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia.

Species Group

Fishes Clingfishes and shore-eels

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

7 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, Broadhead Clingfish, Cochleoceps bassensis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 26 May 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6372

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