Bigeyed Clingfish, Kopua nuimata Hardy 1984

A Bigeyed Clingfish, Kopua nuimata, CSIRO H6007-17, 29.0 mm SL, from the Norfolk Ridge, south of Norfolk Island. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A pinkish clingfish with about 9 arch-shaped blotches along the side, and two reddish-orange stripes on the cheek. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Kopua nuimata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2022,

Bigeyed Clingfish, Kopua nuimata Hardy 1984

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Norfolk Ridge (south of Norfolk Island within Australian EEZ), depth 322-337 m. Elsewhere the species occurs in northern New Zealand: Three Kings Islands and White Island.


Dorsal fin 10–11; Anal fin 8-10; Pectoral fin 23-25; Caudal fin, segmented rays 10; Gill rakers, 2nd arch 7-8; Nasal, lacrimal & preopercular pores 2; Vertebrae 34-36.
Snout short, 7.5–10.4% SL; gill opening wide, depth 7.5% SL, upper end of gill membrane level with 2nd to 4th pectoral-fin ray base in lateral view; anterior, posterior and least interorbital widths 7.9, 15.0, and 1.2% SL, respectively. 
Disc large, 19.6–22.7% SL, disc region D with ca. 6 rows of papillae; caudal-peduncle depth 8.2–11.2% SL; anus slightly closer to posterior margin of disc than to anal-fin origin, disc and disc C to anus lengths 14.3 and 27.4% SL, respectively; dorsal and anal fins originating posteriorly on body, pre-dorsal- and anal-fin lengths 66.7–71.4 and 71.4–74.1% SL, respectively, disc and disc C to anal-fin origin 31.9 and 43.8% SL, respectively; post-dorsal-caudal length 14.4% SL. 


Head and body pale pinkish with about 9 irregular reddish-orange irregular bands along side (upper part of some bands disrupted), bands connected mid-laterally forming arch-shaped blotches (4th and 9th bands distinct and isolated); 1st to 3rd band above pelvic disc; 4th and 5th band broad, located around anus; 6–8th band (7th and 8th rudimentary) below dorsal-fin base; posterior-most band just anterior to caudal-fin base, slightly broadening ventrally. 4th and 9th band extended further ventrally than other bands. Anterior dorsal surface with irregular faint yellowish bands and dots.  
Snout with somewhat broad yellowish-orange lateral stripe, faint yellow “V” shaped tinge dorsally. Mouth faint yellowish-orange. Eye red, becoming brownish-green dorsally, a pale ring encircling black pupil. Two reddish-orange stripes from eye to cheek; upper stripe narrow, horizontally level with upper end of pupil, its tip close to 1st band; lower stripe directed diagonally downward, broad but narrowing to tip, extending to underside of head. Dorsal, anal and caudal fins reddish to translucent whitish. Caudal fin with faint red tinge in centre, fin base with broad white band. Pectoral fin translucent white. Disc whitish to faint reddish.


The specific name is from the Maori nui (= big) and mata (= eye), in reference to the large eyes of this species.

Species Citation

Kopua nuimata Hardy 1984, Bulletin of Marine Science 34(2): 246, Figs. 1-5. Type locality: Rangatira Knoll, northwest of White Island, New Zealand, 37°17.4'S, 176°53.6'E, depth 337-292 m.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Bigeyed Clingfish, Kopua nuimata Hardy 1984


Fujiwara, K. & Motomura, H. 2020. Revised diagnosis of the rare clingfish Kopua nuimata (Gobiesocidae) with notes on fresh coloration and first Australian record. Species Diversity 25: 49-54.

Hardy, G.S. 1984. A new genus and species of deepwater clingfish (family Gobiesocidae) from New Zealand. Bulletin of Marine Science 34(2): 244-247 See ref online

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

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

Stewart, A.S. 2015. 218 Family Gobiesocidae, pp. 1539-1555 in 

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37206039

Depth:160-337 m

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