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(vertebrate zoology)
The sculpins, a family of perciform fishes in the suborder Cottoidei.



(sculpins), a family of fishes of the order Scorpae-niformes. The fishes have a large head and two dorsal fins (the first being the shorter of the two). The body is usually naked but sometimes has bony platelets or knobs. Some species reach a length of 60-75 cm and weigh several kg; there also are dwarf species measuring only 5 or 6 cm long.

There are approximately 200 species of Cottidae, embracing 60 genera. There are more species of Cottidae in the USSR (about 100) than of any other fish family. They are found primarily in the northern hemisphere in temperate and cold seas and freshwaters; the southern hemisphere has only two species of the genus Antipodocottus.

Myoxocephalus scorpius, a marine species that usually reaches a length of 25 cm, is found in the coastal waters of the Barents and White seas. It feeds on various invertebrates and fish, and it spawns in the winter, with the male guarding the eggs. M. quadricornis inhabits the brackish coastal waters of the circumpolar region; there are relict freshwater forms in the larger lakes of Eurasia and North America. Cottus gobio, a freshwater species measuring up to 12 cm long, inhabits the rivers and lakes of Europe, from the Northern Pyrenees to the Ural Ridge. It serves as food for pike, trout, and burbot; it feeds on the roe of these same fish. C. gobio also eats various invertebrates. Spawning occurs in the winter and spring, with the male guarding the roe. Lake Baikal is the home of 24 endemic species of miller’s thumb (they are sometimes divided into a separate family). Marine species of the family Cottidae are of some commercial value.


References in periodicals archive ?
Taxonomic characters presented here could elucidate distinctiveness or similarity of Icelinus among other cottid genera (e.
Phylogenetic analysis of the cottid genus Artedius (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes).
Record of a cottid fish, Icelinus pietschi, collected from Hokkaido and Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
First records of five cottid fishes and a psychrolutid fish from Japan.
The dermal tubercles of cottids in our study are usually assumed to be modified scales (e.
In contrast to the spiny and spinulose tubercles, along with the spinules and tubercles of the lateral-line segments, all of which fit better within the non-toothlike category of Sire & Huysseune (2003), the branchial tooth plates, gill-raker tubercles and associated teeth of the studied cottids, along with their jaw and vomerine teeth, conform better with the tooth-like development and structure of the first category of Sire & Huysseune (2003).
The closest morphological comparison between the scale types of Roberts (1993) and scales of cottids can be perhaps with the second, spinoid type, and with the third, ctenoid type, especially its subtype, the whole ctenoid type.
A more complete understanding of the diversity of the family is necessary to understand the role of cottids in the dynamics of North Pacific ecosystems.
Statistical comparison of the Pictish and Viking Age assemblages indicates significant differences between the two periods for the NISP of fish bone, the ratio of cod to saithe and the ratio of ling and torsk to rocklings, wrasse and cottids (TABLE 2a).
The non-significant results for ling and torsk versus rockling, wrasse and cottids in this case may simply reflect the decrease in sample size due to the exclusion of St Boniface.
Lawrence estuary was almost exclusively inhabited by larvae that hatched from demersal eggs, primarily cottids, stichaeids, P.