Shore Rockling

Fact File:

Common Name(s):
Shore Rockling

Scientific Name:
Gaidropsarus mediterraneus

Usual Size:
15 cm   Max.35 cm

UK Record Weights from rod/line:



MAFF Minimum Size: Shore: Boat:

A small brown elongate fish with three barbels on the head and an unusual first dorsal fin which consists of a single first ray followed by a fringe of vibrating rays set in a trench-like depression. There is no fin membrane between the rays in the first dorsal arrangement, but the second dorsal fin is conventional and runs the length of the body.


In shallow water usually in rocky areas. Not so widespread as the similar species Ciliata mustela which is found in sand and rock areas.

Small crustaceans and worms.

Southern and western British coasts, Atlantic (Britain - Spain), Mediterranean.

Additional Notes:

Count the barbels to be sure of identification. Young are silver and live in the surface water, until autumn when they descend to the sea floor inshore and change colour to brown.

Other Rockling species occur including the much larger 3-Bearded Rockling, Gaidropsarus vulgaris.

Reports of rocklings can be sent to:

Shorewatch Project E-Mail 

All messages will receive a reply.

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