Gobiesox nigripinnis

Common Name

Blackfin Skilletfish

Year Described

Peters, 1859


Dorsal Fin: 13-14
Anal Fin: 7-8
Pectoral Fin: 22-25

Head depressed and wide. Body tapering and becoming laterally compressed posteriorly. Sensory papillae on head poorly developed (none on top lip or snout). Lobes not apparent on margin of upper lip. Eyes relatively large. Rear nostril with two prominent flaps with multiple points. Mouth terminal and small. Top lip broad at front, thin on sides. Top jaw with a large patch of conical teeth at front and a row of teeth on either side. Lower jaw with 2 rows of conical teeth. Dorsal and anal fins placed far rearward. Tail long with rounded margin. Pectoral fin with large fleshy pad that has a free rear edge. Pelvic disk well developed with 6 rows of papillae anteriorly, 4 rows posteriorly and 2 patches (1-3 rows each) in the center of the disk. Anus closer to disk than anal fin. Scales and lateral line absent.


Body whitish to pale yellow with elongated dark brown to greenish-brown spots on head and body. Spots become fainter and smaller on the head and longer on rear body (sometimes becoming thick lines). Several brown bands radiate from eye. Fins much darker than body (especially membranes) with indistinct dark bands. Belly yellowish with rosy tint to organs.


Maximum size to 62mm SL.


Shallow coral reef habitats and rocky areas (<20m).


Island localities from the Virgin Islands to Venezuela, and Curacao.


Briggs, J.C. 1963. A new clingfish of the genus Gobiesox from the Bahamas. Copeia, 604-606.

Schultz, L.P. 1944. A revision of the American clingfishes, family Gobiesocidae, with descriptions of new genera and forms. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. Vol 96 (3187): 47-77.

Other Notes

Allied with Gobiesox lucayanus but differs in structure of disk, coloration, and range.