Clingfish Species Stock Video Footage


Clingfishes are typically small fish, with most species less than 7 cm (2.8 in) in length, and the smallest no more than 1.5 cm (0.6 in). Only a few species can surpass 12 cm (4.7 in) in length and the largest, Chorisochismus dentex and Sicyases sanguineus, both reach up to 30 cm (12 in). Males typically grow larger than females. Most clingfish species have tapering bodies and flattened heads, appearing somewhat tadpole-like in their overall shape. They lack a swim bladder. The lateral line of clingfish is well developed, but may not extend to the posterior parts of the body. The skin of clingfishes is smooth and scaleless, with a thick layer of protective mucus. In at least Diademichthys lineatus and Lepadichthys frenatus, the mucus production increases if the fish is disturbed. The taste of their mucus is highly bitter to humans and it can kill other fish. This is due to their skin and mucus containing a grammistin-like toxin (the toxin in soapfish, such as Grammistes). Whether any other clingfish has toxins in its skin or mucus is currently unknown. Another defense appears to be present in a couple of Acyrtus and Arcos species. They have a spine at their gill cover and it appears to be connected to a venom gland. Although the evidence presently is circumstantial, this strongly suggests that the world's smallest venomous fish is Acyrtus artius, which is less than 3 cm (1.2 in) long. Clingfish are named for ... Learn more about Clingfish

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