Brown Rat Clingfish, Barryichthys hutchinsi Conway, Moore & Summers 2019

Other Names: Rat Clingfish

Brown Rat Clingfish, Barryichthys hutchinsi, P.28981-003, from Cottesloe Reef Platform, Perth, Western Australia (A male; B & C female). Source: Barry Hutchins, Fig. 3A-C, in Conway, Moore & Summers (2019) ZooKeys No. 864: 35-65. License: CC by Attribution

A  golden-yellow to olive-brown clingfish, occasionally with 10-14 irregularly shaped light to dark brown markings along the middle of the back, a light to dark brown incomplete or complete horizontal stripe (with a pale yellow to white border) along the side that continues through lower half of eye to the snout, and a red to orange iris. The markings are largest above the middle of the body, becoming smaller anterior or posterior to this point.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2024, Barryichthys hutchinsi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 May 2024,

Brown Rat Clingfish, Barryichthys hutchinsi Conway, Moore & Summers 2019

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Endemic to southern Australia, from Victor Harbor and Kangaroo Island, South Australia, and the Perth region, Western Australia. Inhabits dense mats of macroalgae attached to rocky surfaces.


Dorsal fin 4-5; anal fin 4-6; Caudal fin (principal rays) 4+4; Procurrent rays 1-2 dorsal, ventral 1-2; Pectoral fin 15-17; Pelvic fin I, 4; Vertebrae 17 + 21-22 = 38-39.
Body elongate; caudal peduncle long.  Head little depressed; snout moderately long, narrow, tapering to prominent point; eyes of moderate size; lips narrow; mouth small, reaching to below front part of eye; lower jaw much shorter than upper; teeth small conical;  no spine laterally on head; gill openings large, lateral.  
No scales or lateral line; some sensory papillae on sides.  
Single short-based dorsal fin located posteriorly, widely separated from caudal fin; anal fin similar to and opposite dorsal fin, neither fin with anterior rays swollen at base; all dorsal- and anal-fin rays unbranched and segmented; caudal fin rounded. Pectoral fins rounded, no fleshy pad on lower portion of their bases. Pelvic fins united into a small ventral sucking disc, consisting of anterior and posterior halves, posterior margin smooth edged.


Pale green to dark green, occasionally with several scattered brown spots; pale line usually on side of snout, through top half of eye to upper corner of operculum.


This species often occurs with members of the genus Parvicrepis.

Similar Species

Differs from Barryichthys algicola in having a shorter, deeper body (body depth at dorsal-fin origin 10–11% SL vs. 7–8% SL), a wider, deeper head (head width at widest point 66–75% HL vs. 55–61%; depth at orbit 30–32% HL vs. 27–29%; interorbital width 27–33% HL vs. 20–24%), ventral margin of the orbit obscured by cheek in ventral view (vs. entire ventral margin of orbit visible in ventral view), by having a shorter abdominal region with fewer vertebrae, and by features of live colour pattern, including body background colour golden-yellow to olive-brown (vs. uniform green), the presence (vs. absence) of a variable number of irregularly shaped light to dark brown markings along dorsal midline, and the presence (vs. absence) of a series of light to dark brown elongate lateral markings forming an incomplete or complete horizontal stripe.


The species is named for Dr Barry Hutchins, former Curator of Fishes at the Western Australian Museum, who discovered the new species. 

Species Citation

Barryichthys hutchinsi Conway, Moore &  Summers 2019, ZooKeys No. 864: 39, Figs. 2A, 3A-C, 4A, 5A, 6-9A, 9C-D, 10-11. Type locality: Cottesloe Reef platform, Perth, Western Australia, 31°59'00.0"S, 115°45'00.0"E. 


Bray, D.J. 2024


Atlas of Living Australia

Brown Rat Clingfish, Barryichthys hutchinsi Conway, Moore & Summers 2019


Conway, K.W., Moore, G.I. & Summers, A.P. 2019. A new genus and two new species of miniature clingfishes from temperate southern Australia (Teleostei, Gobiesocidae). ZooKeys 864: 35–65. zookeys.864.34521 Open access

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. (as Genus B sp. excluding Victorian and Tasmanian material)

Quick Facts

Depth:0-1 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max weight:18.7 mm SL


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