Acyrtus lanthanum

Common Name

Orange-spotted Clingfish

Year Described

Conway, Baldwin & White, 2014


Dorsal Fin: 8-9
Anal Fin: 7-8
Pectoral Fin: 24-25
Caudal Fin: 5+5 principal and 4-6 upper and lower procurrent rays
Vertebrae: 11+12 precaudal, 15-16 caudal

Head large and flattened with a laterally compressed posterior end. Eyes large and dorsally placed. Mouth terminal and small. Interorbital less than eye diameter. Snout short. Anterior nostril with cirri. Posterior nostril adjacent. Gill membranes connected but free from isthmus. Branchiostegal membrane contiguous with operculum. Subopercular spine poorly developed with a weak groove and no patch of modified tissue (compare A. artius). Ventral sucking disk well developed (length 31-39%, width 31-38% SL). Disk U-shaped and covered in numerous papillae. There are 7–8 transverse rows of papillae across disc region A, 10–11 transverse rows of papillae across disc region B and 3–4 longitudinal rows of papillae across disc region C. Region C without any papillae on the anterolateral margin. Region C has paired papillae in paired clusters posteriorly. Papillae on anterior edge of region B small and round. Dorsal and anal fins located far back on body and are across from each other. Caudal fin truncate. Fleshy pad on lower pectoral base absent.


Body pale gray to translucent. Head opaque whitish with red-brown blotches and a dense pattern of bluish white and orange spots. Three bands radiate from eye. Eye with reddish and white bands radiating from pupil and blue margin. Three green to brown bands: one behind pectoral fin, one under dorsal fin, and the last on the base of the tai. Pale interspaces on rear body with orangish spots. Median fins with orangish spots on finrays. Paired fins pale.


A tiny species: usually less than 24mm SL.


Shallow (<5m) coastal lagoons and coral reefs in rocky and coral rubble.


Known from the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, and Belize but likely widespread in the Caribbean Sea.


Conway, K.W., Baldwin, C., & M.D. White. 2014. Cryptic diversity and venom glands in western Atlantic clingfishes of the genus Acyrtus (Teleostei: Gobiesocidae). PloS One, 9(5), e97664.

Other Notes

Closely related to Acyrtus artius but differs in coloration, DNA, habitat, the absence of a venomous subopercular spine, and other smaller morphological differences in the sucking disk.