Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Clinidae, Clinini: <I>Cristiceps australis</I>

Clinidae, Clinini: Cristiceps australis

Clinidae: Clinini: <I>Heteroclinus</I>

Clinidae: Clinini: Heteroclinus

Clinidae: Clinini: <I>Heteroclinus johnstoni</I>

Clinidae: Clinini: Heteroclinus johnstoni

Clinidae: Clinini: <I>Heteroclinus roseus</I>

Clinidae: Clinini: Heteroclinus roseus

Clinidae: Ophiclinini: <I>Ophiclinus</I>

Clinidae: Ophiclinini: Ophiclinus

Clinidae: Ophiclinini: <I>Ophiclinops pardalis</I>

Clinidae: Ophiclinini: Ophiclinops pardalis


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB: 37414000


Snake Blennies, Weedfishes

Compiler and date details

18 May 2012 - Douglass F. Hoese


Members of the Clinidae occur primarily in the temperate regions of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, North and South Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Currently, 20 genera and 73 species are recognised, with seven genera and 32 species listed here from Australian waters. At least 10 undescribed species of Heteroclinus are present in Australia.

Australian species of weedfishes are ovoviviparous, generally with multiple batches of eggs and/or embryos in a single female (Gunn & Thresher 1991). Males have a simple, conical intromittent organ. Clinids are common around vegetation on rocky reefs and sea grass beds. They generally occur in shallow waters, less than 50 m, but some species of Cristiceps are found to depths greater than 100 m. Maximum size of the clinids is 60 cm (40 cm for Australia).

The family is divided into three tribes, the Clinini, Ophiclinini and Myxodini. Ophiclinini and Clinini are considered monophyletic and usually grouped together in the subfamily Clininae, with members found primarily in the temperate waters of southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and one genus found in the tropics of the Indo-west Pacific. In the subfamily Clininae, all males have an intromittent organ and females give birth to larvae. The subfamily Myxodinae with its single tribe, the Myxodini, is restricted to the north and south eastern Pacific, south-western Atlantic and Mediterranean. The Myxodinae are characterised by having ovuliparous oviparity and lacking an intromittent organ in males. Because the classification has been well known for several years the genera are not separated here into their respective groups as that information is readily available elsewhere (see publications listed below).

Stepien (1992) discussed relationships within the Clinidae and Springer (1993) defined the family. South African clinid species were revised by Penrith (1969) and George & Springer (1980) revised members of the tribe Ophiclinini. Australian members of the tribe Clinini are under study by Hoese; Australian Clinini genera are similar to those found in South Africa. Species from southern Australia are treated by Rennis et al. (1994) and Hoese et al. (2008). The genus Cristiceps requires revision. The genera represented in temperate Australia are confined to Australia, New Zealand, and Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands; records of Australian species from the Northern Hemisphere are misidentifications.


General References

George, A. & Springer, V.G. 1980. Revision of the clinid fish tribe Ophiclinini, including five new species, and definition of the family Clinidae. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 307: 1-31 figs 1-14

Gunn, J.S. & Thresher, R.E. 1991. Viviparity and the reproductive ecology of clinid fishes (Clinidae) from temperate Australian waters. Environmental Biology of Fishes 31: 323-344

Hoese, D.F. 2006. Families Tripterygiidae and Clinidae. pp. 1517-1539 in Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. Fishes. In, Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 35. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp.

Hoese, D.F., Gomon, M.F. & Rennis, D.S. 2008. Family Clinidae. pp. 696-722 in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

McCulloch, A.R. 1908. Studies in Australian fishes, No. 1. Records of the Australian Museum 7(1): 36-43 pls 10-11 [pl. 10]

Penrith, M.L. 1969. The systematics of the fishes of the family Clinidae in South Africa. Annals of the South African Museum 55(1): 1-121

Rennis, D., Hoese, D.F. & Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Clinidae. pp. 741-775, figs 650-684B in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Springer, V.G. 1993. Definition of the suborder Blennioidei and its included families (Pisces: Perciformes). Bulletin of Marine Science 52(2): 472-495

Stepien, C.A. 1992. Evolution and biogeography of the Clinidae (Teleostei: Blennioidei). Copeia 1992(2): 375-392

Waite, E.R. 1921. Illustrated catalogue of the fishes of South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2(1): 1-208 293 figs pl. 1 [fig. 244]


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
01-Feb-2013 01-Feb-2013 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)