Northern Clingfish, Gobiesox maeandricus, habitat, San Juan Island
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The Northern Clingfish, Gobiesox maeandricus, has many well-studied morphological adaptations to help it cope with the harsh environment that it lives in: the intertidal zone. Lab studies have shown that this fish can adhere to smooth and rough surfaces as well as slippery and non-slippery surfaces. Now, the aim of the current study is to define the habitat of the Northern Clingfish and compare habitat parameters with these previous lab studies. We show that the clingfish is presented with a challenging, slippery habitat We find that nearly 90% of the rocks present in the habitat of the clingfish are covered in biofilm and are consequently slippery. Clingfish cope with their habitat by seeking shelter under rocks within a specific size range (15-45 cm in width) and they are most commonly found under rocks that have gravel as the main substrate. Rocks that clingfish were found under possessed a wide range of aufwuchs (periphyton) cover. Rock size did not correlate to fish length, but a bimodal distribution was found in the transect area.