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(vertebrate zoology)
The sculpins, a family of perciform fishes in the suborder Cottoidei.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Taxonomic characters presented here could elucidate distinctiveness or similarity of Icelinus among other cottid genera (e.g., Ruscarius, Icelus) and co-occurring species (e.g., Icelinus filamentosus)--an important beginning to solving the complicated systematic relationships within the family Cottidae (Richardson, 1981).
Until then, salinities in the surface waters were below 13 psu and apparently low enough to exclude all but a few euryhaline cottids.
Systematics and distribution of cottid fishes of the genus Triglops Reinhardt (Teleostei: Scorpaeniformes).
Extracellular environments for the initiation of external fertilization and micropylar plug formation in a cottid species, Hemitripterus villosus (Pallas) (Scorpaeniformes) with internal insemination.
Gymnocanthus pistilliger (Pallas), the threaded sculpin, is a small marine cottid that inhabits waters from Southeast Alaska north to Norton Sound and west to Russia and Japan (Wilson, 1973).
The effect of light intensity on sockeye salmon fry migratory behavior and predation by cottids in the Cedar River, Washington.
While the restricted-movement paradigm appears valid for some taxa (e.g., salmonids, Rodriguez, 2002; cottids, Knaepkens et al., 2004; petty and Grossman, 2004), a growing body of literature suggests that it might not be true under other conditions or other species (e.g., common carp Cyprinus carpio and catostomids in large rivers; Matheney and Rabeni, 1995; Crook, 2004; Grabowski and Isely, 2006; Jeffres et al., 2006).
Because grotto sculpin hold the unique position as the only representative of cottids showing cave adaptation we argue for recognition, if not as a distinct taxonomic species, then at least as a distinct population segment or a biologically isolated unit.
For lake trout, the same five categories were used, except that fish were further subdivided into seven subcategories when possible: cisco, whitefish, smelt, alewife, cottids, "other benthic-pelagic fish" (consisting of other salmonids, stickleback, trout-perch, and catastomids), and littoral (percids, cyprinids, and centrarchids).