Grass Clingfish 

Unplaced species Genus nov C

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Dorsal fin spines/rays: 7-11
Anal fin spines/rays: 9-13
Caudal fin rays: 10-12
Pectoral fin rays: 20-22
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 4
Lateral line: -
Vertebrae: 33-36

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.



General Description

Body long slender, head slightly flattened, tip of snout pointed; dorsal and anal fin short-based, far back on body, separated from tail fin; pelvic fins united to for a small sucking disc on the underside with a fleshy fringe on the hind margin. Greenish with a band of small black spots along sides and lower part of body, fins green with paler markings, an irregular white stripe along lower sides, a line of brown spots often along midline of back and a brownish line from side of snout, through eye to end of gill cover. To 3.2 cm.


Inhabits seagrass beds and adjacent reefs, in depths of 0-10 m.


Seagrass meadows

Distribution guide

South-eastern and south-western Australia. In western and central Victoria.

Species Group

Fishes Clingfishes and shore-eels


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

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

3 cm

Commercial Species


Global Dispersal

Native to Australia

Species Code

Genus nov C


Conservation Status

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


article author Bray, D.J.

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


article author Gomon, M.F.

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


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Grass Clingfish, , in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 12 Jul 2020,

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