Eastern Cleaner Clingfish, Cochleoceps orientalis Hutchins 1991

Other Names: Eastern Cleaner-clingfish

An Eastern Cleaner Clingfish, Cochleoceps orientalis, at Kurnell, Botany Bay, New South Wales, 6 October 2013. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


Eastern Cleaner Clingfish are often seen removing parasites from a range of larger fishes including wrasses, morwongs, leatherjackets and boxfishes. They are greenish-yellow to orange with darker reddish or brown variable spots and fine iridescent blue dashes, lines and spots on the back and sides.

Video of an Eastern Blue Groper being cleaned by lots of Eastern Cleaner Clingfish.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Cochleoceps orientalis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1152

Eastern Cleaner Clingfish, Cochleoceps orientalis Hutchins 1991

More Info


Endemic to Eastern Australia from the Solitary Islands to Tathra, New South Wales, and possibly extending into eastern Victoria.

Similar Species

The Western Cleaner Clingfish, Cochleoceps bicolor, differs in having a bluish-grey tail, and more regular bands across the back.

Species Citation

Cochleoceps orientalis Hutchins, 1991, Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 15(3): 668, fig. 8. Type locality: off Wollongong, New South Wales.


Dianne J. Bray

Eastern Cleaner Clingfish, Cochleoceps orientalis Hutchins 1991


Hutchins, J.B. 1983. Redescription of the clingfish Cochleoceps spatula (Gobiesocidae) from Western Australia and South Australia, with the description of a new species from Victoria and Tasmania. Records of the Western Australian Museum 11(1): 33-47 figs 1-7 PDF

Hutchins, J.B. 1991. Description of three new species of gobiesocid fishes from southern Australia, with a key to the species of Cochleoceps. Records of the Western Australian Museum 15(3): 655-672. PDF

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37206012

Behaviour:Cleaner fish

Depth:3-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5.5 cm


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map