Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Lepadogaster purpurea

Cornish Clingfish

Cornish clingfish, Lepadogaster purpurea Cornish clingfish, Lepadogaster purpurea
Photos by Andy Rapson


Lepadogaster: Greek, lepas, - ados = limpet + Greek, gaster = stomach

General Notes:

A very secretive species which spends the majority of its time hidden away under stones. please make sure that there are lots of nooks and crannies for them to hide. In captivity they are quite hardy and easy to feed. They have quite a large range which extend south to the Mediterranean so over heating isn't normally going to be an issue and these fish will manage perfectly well without the use of an aquarium cooler.


Peaceful with fish which are too big to eat. They are a little territorial and may squabble among their own kind but id enough hiding places have been provided no serious harm will come to the fish.

Food and feeding:

Feeds on small crustaceans, worms and decapods. In captivity, once settled they will accept everything offered including dried food such as flake although this alone shouldn't be relied upon to provide a balanced diet. Use a variety of suitably sized frozen food and your Cornish clingfish will thrive. They may prey on smaller tank mates.




Unlikely in the aquarium. In the wild both parents guard their brood.

Wild status:

Clingfish are abundant, they have a large range and they are quite common across their range and face no major threats.

Further Information:

In 2002, Henriques et al. investigated the relationships between L. l. lepadogaster, L. l. purpurea and L. zebrina. They noted significant differences in microhabitat preferences and their breeding seasons between the two subspecies. They concluded that L. l. purpurea is a valid species, L. purpurea (Bonnaterre, 1788), different from L. l. lepadogaster, which is now designated L. lepadogaster (Bonnaterre, 1788).

Information at a glance

pH: 8.2 - 8.4
dGH: 8 - 12
Salinity: 1.021 - 1.025
Temperature: 6 - 22°C (42 - 72°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 7.5cm (3in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Bottom

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Cornish clingfish, Lepadogaster purpurea

Origin: Eastern Atlantic: Dakar to the Canary Islands, Shetland Islands in the north, and in the Mediterranean west of Cap Roux. Possibly also in the Black Sea.

Habitat: Rocky, seaweed covered shores, particularly among small boulders. Most common in the intertidal zone amongst the algae


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gobiesociformes
Family: Gobiesocidae
Genus: Lepadogaster
Species: L. purpurea, (Bonnaterre, 1788)

Cyclopterus purpureus, Lepadogaster lepadogaster purpurea,
Lepadogaster lepadogaster purpureus,
Lepadogaster rostratus,
Cyclopterus cornubicus,
Cyclopterus ocellatus,
Cyclopterus spatula,
Lepadogaster cornubiensis,
Cycloptera spathulata,
Lepadogaster webbianus,
Lepadogaster bitentaculatus,