Deepwater Clingfish, Kopua kuiteri Hutchins 1991

Other Names: Kuiter's Deepsea Clingfish

Deepwater Clingfish, Kopua kuiteri. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

A small pale orange to yellowish-brown clingfish with irregular yellowish to reddish blotches on the body, several diagonal red lines from the eye across the gill cover, a small purplish ring on the operculum, and red dorsal and anal fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Kopua kuiteri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Deepwater Clingfish, Kopua kuiteri Hutchins 1991

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Known only from several specimens trawled off southern Australia, from off Narooma, New South Wales, to west of King Island, Victoria, and west of the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia. The species likely occurs along the southern coast of Australia. 
Inhabits empty mollusc shells in deep offshore waters between 92 and 408 m. The holotype was inside an empty cowrie shell trawled off Bermagui, southern New South Wales, and another specimen was also inside an empty shell found off Bermagui.


Dorsal fin 6-8; Anal fin 7-8; Pectoral fin 23; Pelvic fin 1,4; Caudal fin 13-14 (segmented rays), Vertebrae 34.
Body moderately robust, subcylindrical anteriorly, tapering to a compressed caudal peduncle; head moderately wide; snout short, triangular; eyes large, almost touching each other; mouth small, lower jaw somewhat shorter than upper; single, short based dorsal fin close to but distinctly separated from caudal fin; anal fin similar to and opposite dorsal fin; ventral fins united into large ventral disc consisting of anterior and posterior halves, posterior edge with long fleshy fringe; papillae within disc arranged as shown in the image gallery.


Fresh coloration (based on colour transparencies of the freshly collected holotype): ground colour pale yellowish brown, with numerous irregularly shaped orange to reddish-orange blotches on head and body, those on latter tending to form cross-bands on back and sides; head with several reddish lines and dashes continued from lower border of eye to ventral surface; a pale purple ringlike mark on side of head about half way between eye and pectoral fin base, subequal in size to pupil; dorsal and anal fins with reddish rays, those of other fins pale red to hyaline, all integuments hyaline; eye orangish, more blackish dorsally, with a pale ring enclosing black pupil.


Named kuiteri for Rudie Kuiter who collected the holotype.

Species Citation

Kopua kuiteri Hutchins, 1991, Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 15(2): 464, figs 1a, 2, 3. Type locality: Bermagui, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Deepwater Clingfish, Kopua kuiteri Hutchins 1991


Fujiwara, K., Okamoto, M. & Motomura, H. 2018. Review of the clingfish genus Kopua (Gobiesocidae: Trachelochisminae) in Japan, with description of a new species. Ichthyological Research: 1–21.  

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. See ref online

Hutchins, J.B. 2008. Family Gobiesocidae. pp. 722-741 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Moore, G.I., Hutchins, J.B. & Okamoto, M. 2012. A new species of the deepwater clingfish genus Kopua (Gobiesociformes: Gobiesocidae) from the East China Sea—an example of antitropicality? Zootaxa 3380: 34-38

Shinohara, G. & Katayama, E. 2015. A new species of the clingfish genus Kopua (Gobiesociformes: Gobiesocidae) from Japan. Ichthyological Research 62(4): 431–438.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37206017

Depth:92-408 m

Max Size:5 cm TL


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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map