Deepwater Clingfish, Kopua kuiteri Click to enlarge image
A Deepwater Clingfish found in an empty shell trawled at a depth between 305m and 311m, by K. Graham on FV Shelley H off Bermagui, New South Wales, February 2001. Image: Mark McGrouther
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    kuiteri
    Genus
    Kopua
    Family
    Gobiesocidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia

Introduction

Kuiter's Deepwater Clingfish has an elongate body with smooth, scaleless skin. The species may occur around much of the southern Australian coastline.

Identification

Kuiter's Deepwater Clingfish has an elongate body with smooth, scaleless skin. It has fleshy lips and close-set eyes. The dorsal and anal fins are positioned opposite each other towards the rear of the body. Hutchins described the colour of the holotype from slides of the fresh fish. It was pale yellowish-brown with numerous irregular shaped orange to red blotches on the head and body. There were several reddish lines and dashes from the eye to the ventral surface and a small purplish ring on the operculum.

The colouration of the fish in the images (AMS I.40824-001) agrees with the original description but the base colour is a pale orange rather than yellowish-brown, and the fish does not have the small purplish ring on the operculum.

Dr J.B. Hutchins is acknowledged for his assistance with the preparation of this page.

Habitat

The holotype was found inside an empty cowrie shell that was trawled at a depth between 92 m and 110 m, off Bermagui, southern New South Wales in August 1980. It was names after its collector, R. Kuiter. The fish in the images on this page was the second known specimen of this species. It was also found in an empty shell that was trawled from off Bermagui.


Kopua kuiteri I.22886-001
A larger tiff version of this file is available. Image: Mark Allen
© Australian Museum

Distribution

The first specimens were collected off southern New South Wales. Subsequent specimens indicate that the species may occur around much of the southern Australian coastline.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.



References

  1. Hutchins, J.B. 1991. Description of a new deepwater clingfish (Gobiesocidae) from New South Wales. Records of the Western Australian Museum. 15(2): 463-468.