Clingfish

Wembury Marine Centre

Shore clingfish / Cornish sucker

Scientific name: Lepadogaster lepadogaster
One of the most bizarre fish to find on the rocky shore, the clingfish appears an assortment of different animals stuck together!

Species information

Statistics

Up to 7cm long.

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

April - October.

About

This fascinating rockpool creature has a mouth more like a duck-billed platypus than a fish! Their pelvic fin is modified into a sucker, allowing it to stick upside down on the underside of rocks.

How to identify

Small, distinctive reddish/brown fish, with a flattened head and duck-bill snout. Two turquoise eye spots on the top of the head, behind the eyes and large tentacles in front of each nostril.

Distribution

Mostly found in South West England, Wales, South West Scotland, and Ireland.

Did you know?

Male clingfish will guard their eggs by attaching themselves to the underside of rocks and sticking there, so it is especially important not to disturb them if you turn a rock over and find one!

How people can help

Always follow the Seashore Code when rockpooling, be careful to leave everything as you found it - replace any rocks you turn over, put back any crabs or fish and ensure not to scrape anything off its rocky home. If you want to learn more about our rockpool life, Wildlife Trusts around the UK run rockpool safaris and offer Shoresearch training - teaching you to survey your local rocky shore.