Clark's Snake Blenny, Sticharium clarkae George & Springer 1980

Other Names: Dusky Crawler

Clark's Snake Blenny, Sticharium clarkae. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A dark brown to black snake blenny with a broad pale stripe running along the back from above the eye to the tail base, largish white spots along the midsides, the head mottled blackish head anteriorly, reddish brown posteriorly, with creamy lips and underside, creamy-white dorsal and anal fins, and a brown caudal fin with an irregular pale margin.
Clark's Snake Blenny has a prominent lower lip that is quite distinctive among snakeblennies, and easily distinguishes it from similar species.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Sticharium clarkae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Nov 2019,

Clark's Snake Blenny, Sticharium clarkae George & Springer 1980

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Endemic to southern Australia, from Montague Island, southern New South Wales, to Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia, including eastern Tasmania. Clark's Snake Blenny is often buried in sand under or near rocks.


Dorsal fin XXXVIII-LXI, 1; Anal fin II, 35-37; Caudal fin 13; Pectoral fin 8-11; Pelvic fin I, 2.
Body very shallow (8-9% SL) and elongate, compressed, gradually tapering to shallow caudal peduncle.  Head small (17-19% SL); eyes small (11-13% HL); mouth small (upper jaw length 26 30% HL), oblique, maxillae reaching just beyond rear edge of eyes; lower lip fleshy, flap at tip reaching in advance of upper jaw;  teeth conical, moderately large, band at front of each jaw, single row laterally;  roof of mouth with curved row of teeth.  
Scales inconspicuous, tiny, cycloid, not overlapping;  lateral line not associated with scales, consisting of 36 42 pores originating above each opercle, series of pit like depressions along centre of side posteriorly.  
Single dorsal and anal fins with very long bases and fairly uniform heights, both broadly joined by membranes to caudal fin, dorsal arising above anus, last anal fin ray reaching to, or nearly to caudal fin base; caudal fin almost pointed. Pectoral fins moderately small, much longer than eye diameter, lower extent of base above level of anal fin base. Pelvic fins much longer than eye diameter, arising at base of opercular openings.


Dark brown to black with creamy white stripe middorsally from above eyes to base of tail, series of moderately large white spots along centre of each side; head mottled blackish anteriorly, reddish brown posteriorly with creamy lips and underside;  dorsal and anal fins creamy white with several faint brown spots in dorsal;  caudal fin brown with irregular creamy white edge.


The species is named in honour of Eugenie Clark for her continued guidance and encouragement of the senior author.

Species Citation

Sticharium clarkae George & Springer 1980, Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 307: 27, fig. 14a. Type locality: near Angelsea, VIC. 


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Clark's Snake Blenny, Sticharium clarkae George & Springer 1980


George, A. & Springer, V.G. 1980. Revision of the clinid fish tribe Ophiclinini, including five new species, and definition of the family Clinidae. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 307: 1-31 figs 1-14

Gunn, J.S. & Thresher, R. 1991. Viviparity and the reproductive ecology of clinid fishes (Clinidae) from temperate Australian waters. Environmental Biology of Fishes 31(4): 323-344.

Hoese, D.F., Gomon, M.F. & Rennis, D.S. 2008. Family Clinidae. pp. 696-722 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Rennis, D., Hoese, D.F. & Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Clinidae. pp. 741-775, figs 650-684B in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Williams, J.T., Holleman, W. & Clements, K.D. 2014. Sticharium clarkae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T179032A1561634. Downloaded on 04 September 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37414011

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy areas

Max Size:8 cm TL


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