dcsimg

Reproduction

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Males of some clinids, such as Paraclinus marmoratus, may be sequentially polygynous. Evidence for this comes from the fact that eggs at different stages of development can be found in their nests, suggesting that multiple females deposited eggs in the nest. (For a description of color changes in clinids at spawning time, see Physical Description above.)

Mating System: polygynous

Reproductive habits in Clinidae are quite variable. Information on spawning seasons is limited, but the species studied spawn in spring, during the day. Some may spawn several times a year, and sperm storing may occur. In some species females lay eggs on a rocky surface, quivering vigorously to release them, and males then fertilize the eggs. Males guard females during spawning, chasing away other fish. He may stimulate her to continue spawning by touching her abdomen. When she leaves he may court another female (see Mating Systems). Some clinids, especially the Indo-West Pacific species, bear live young. These may be viviparous, in which case the mother’s body provides nourishment to the embryo, or ovoviviparous, in which case the eggs develop without additional nourishment inside the mother. Males in the live-bearing species have intromittent organs.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); viviparous ; ovoviviparous ; oviparous ; sperm-storing

Male clinids often guard eggs after the female leaves, protecting them from predators, and may nudge the egg mass to achieve water flow through it.

Parental Investment: male parental care

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Untitled

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The first fossil record of clinids dates to the lower Tertiary and middle Eocene periods.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Behavior

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Communication during spawning has been observed in clinids, with the male darkening in response to the paling of the female. Forms of communication unrelated to spawning are not known.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Conservation Status

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Currently, there is no known conservation threat to any member of this family.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Cycle

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Most clinids lay eggs, but some bear live young. All clinids occurring in the Indo-West Pacific bear live young, while all the egg-laying species (7 or 8) occur variously within the eastern Pacific, Mediterranean, and Atlantic. The species for which information is available, Paraclinus marmoratus, hatches from its eggs after 10 days. Rate of development varies; some clinids have a planktonic stage lasting less than 24 hours, while others have an extended larval stage. Little is known about the development of starksiins, which bear live young. Apparently the fertilized eggs receive no nourishment from the mother, as do the eggs of some clinids.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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R. Jamil Jonna, Animal Diversity Web
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Comprehensive Description

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The Clinidae family is widely variable. Most sources estimate about 20 genera and 75 species, with some casting a more inclusive net to arrive at around 40 genera and 180 species. While most notable for their diversity, clinids tend to have spines on the dorsal fin and hair-like growths around the head called cirri, sometimes pronounced enough to give the fish its common name, as in the case of the sarcastic fringehead. For the most part cryptically marked bottom feeders, many clinids change color near spawning time. Many are egg-layers, but some give birth to live young.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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No specific information was found concerning any negative impacts to humans.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Benefits

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The brilliant markings of some clinids could make them valuable in the aquarium trade, and many could be easy to raise in captivity, but this has not been done so far.

Positive Impacts: pet trade

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Clinids are the dominant fishes in some temperate intertidal regions. They live in association with kelp beds where they help regulate populations of their prey, which are mostly small fishes and invertebrates from worms to crustaceans.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Trophic Strategy

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Clinids are primarily carnivorous bottom-feeders who consume small fishes and invertebrates from worms to crustaceans.

Primary Diet: carnivore (Piscivore , Eats non-insect arthropods, Molluscivore ); herbivore ; omnivore

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Distribution

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Clinids primarily occur along temperate coasts in both northern and southern hemispheres. Many species are found in the waters of southern Australia and southern Africa, where they have in many regions become the dominant intertidal fishes. They also inhabit areas of the Bahamas, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific coast of the United States.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ); indian ocean (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Habitat

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A marine family, clinids are mostly bottom-dwellers (benthic) (see an exception below in Predation). They occupy various habitats in shallow water, including tide pools, coastal reefs, under stones, or amongst sea grass or algae. They are mostly found in intertidal zones of temperate waters and tend to live in close association with seaweed.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; saltwater or marine

Aquatic Biomes: pelagic ; reef ; coastal

Other Habitat Features: intertidal or littoral

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Life Expectancy

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In general most small reef fishes live between three and five years.

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Morphology

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Clinids appear in a wide variety of shapes and forms. Most have small, round (cycloid), embedded scales, although some are scaleless. Their snouts are often pointed and their heads blunt. Other common elements may include the possession of fixed conical teeth and cirri, or fleshy hair-like projections, on the head. Clinids tend to have more spines than rays on the dorsal fin, which usually begins close to the head. The first few spines are often longer than the others and separated from the rest of the fin. Clinids tend to be cryptically colored to match their surrounding habitat. Most are small fish, measuring as little as 5 cm, but Heterostichus rostratus, or giant kelpfish, can reach 60 cm (Click here to see a fish diagram).

Clinids characteristically exhibit sexual dimorphism. In some genera, such as Labrisomus and Malacoctenus, the sexes have permanent color differences, with the male usually more colorful than the female. Such color differences may be due to each sex adapting to separate habitats. However, many clinids display temporary color differences during spawning seasons. Males in some species of Labrisomus and Paraclinus, for example, darken considerably during spawning and the female becomes almost white. Males and females in many clinid groups can be distinguished by minor differences in the form of the urogenital papilla. In some cases males are larger and have larger jaws than females. Intromittent organs are found on males of Starksia, as that genus is ovoviviparous.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes colored or patterned differently; male more colorful; sexes shaped differently

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Associations

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Clinids are usually cryptically marked to avoid detection by predators. Colors vary in order to match the fishes’ background. In the Bahamas Hemiemblemaria swims with schools of wrasse, mimicking them. Male clinids chase away other fish while spawning, and often guard the nest of eggs.

Anti-predator Adaptations: mimic; cryptic

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Weinheimer, M. 2003. "Clinidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Clinidae.html
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Monica Weinheimer, Animal Diversity Web
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Clinidae

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Clinidae is a family of marine fish in the order Blenniiformes within the series Ovalentaria, part of the Percomorpha . Temperate blennies, the family ranges from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. The family contains about 86 species in 20 genera, the 60-cm-long giant kelpfish (Heterostichus rostratus) being the largest; most are far smaller.

With small cycloid scales, clinoid blennies may have a deep or slender build; some members of the family bear the name "snake blenny" and "eel blenny" for this reason. Dorsal spines outnumber soft rays; two spines are in the anal fin. Like many other blennies, clinids possess whisker-like structures on their heads called cirri.

The majority of species possesses rich, highly variable colouration in shades of reddish-brown to olive, often with cryptic patterns; this suits the lifestyle of clinid blennies, which frequent areas of dense weed or kelp. Generally staying within intertidal zones to depths around 40 m, some species are also found in tide pools. Eggs are deposited on kelp for the male to guard. Clinids feed primarily on small crustaceans and mollusks.

The name Clinidae derives from the Greek klinein meaning "sloping", a reference to the shape of the sphenoid bone.

Genera

These genera are classified in the family Clinidae:[1]

Timeline

See also

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Clinidae: Brief Summary

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Clinidae is a family of marine fish in the order Blenniiformes within the series Ovalentaria, part of the Percomorpha . Temperate blennies, the family ranges from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. The family contains about 86 species in 20 genera, the 60-cm-long giant kelpfish (Heterostichus rostratus) being the largest; most are far smaller.

With small cycloid scales, clinoid blennies may have a deep or slender build; some members of the family bear the name "snake blenny" and "eel blenny" for this reason. Dorsal spines outnumber soft rays; two spines are in the anal fin. Like many other blennies, clinids possess whisker-like structures on their heads called cirri.

The majority of species possesses rich, highly variable colouration in shades of reddish-brown to olive, often with cryptic patterns; this suits the lifestyle of clinid blennies, which frequent areas of dense weed or kelp. Generally staying within intertidal zones to depths around 40 m, some species are also found in tide pools. Eggs are deposited on kelp for the male to guard. Clinids feed primarily on small crustaceans and mollusks.

The name Clinidae derives from the Greek klinein meaning "sloping", a reference to the shape of the sphenoid bone.

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Description

provided by World Register of Marine Species
Mainly temperate (about 4 species in tropical Indo-Pacific). Distribution: Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. Scales usually inconspicuous; cycloid, having radii in all fields. No cirri on nape. Dorsal fin with the spinous part longer than the soft-rayed portion; the fin rays all simple. A cordlike ligament stretches from ceratohyal to the articulation of the dentaries. About 60 cm maximum length, reported for Heterostichus rostratus; mostly well below 60 cm.
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MASDEA (1997).
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