Cochleoceps bicolor

Western cleaner clingfish
Cochleoceps bicolor
Cochleoceps bicolor, Adelaide, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Cochleoceps bicolor
Cochleoceps bicolor, Adelaide, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Cochleoceps bicolor
Cochleoceps bicolor


Temperate Australasia


12-15 blue lines across the top and sides of the body and a covering of numerous tightly packed red and purple dots, which are darker towards the tail. The eastern cleaner clingfish Cochleoceps orientalis, has red dots of a constant colour and blue lines which do not descend fully down the sides of the body. Both species are found in association with sponges, kelp or ascidians in relatively deep water. They are named cleaner clingfish because they sometimes cling to larger fishes such as morwongs and boxfishes, and pick off parasites living there.


Max Size: 7 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 13.3-22.7°C

Depth: 5-40m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (8.2% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney