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any one bottom fish of the family Pholidae of the suborder Blennioidae. The lanceolate body is laterally compressed and measures up to 30 cm long; the head is small. The pectoral fins are small, and the pelvic fins are either rudimentary or absent (as in Pholidapis dybowskii).
There are several genera, comprising many species, distributed in the northern Pacific Ocean. In the seas of the Soviet Far East there are several species of the genus Pholis, such as Pholis picta, the stippled gunnel (P. dolichogaster), and the banded gunnel (P. fasciatd), and one species of the genus Enedrias (Enedrias nebulosis). Only one species, the rock gunnel (P. gunellus), is found along the northern Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. In the USSR the rock gunnel is encountered in the Baltic, White, and Barents seas. Gunnels live in the littoral and sublittoral, seldom descending below depths of 50 m. During low tide they often remain in tidepools among seaweed or under rocks. The fish feed on small bottom invertebrates. Gunnels take care of their young: the females lay clumps of eggs in crevices or in empty shells, and the parents take turns guarding the egg mass.
REFERENCESAndriashev, A. P. Ryby severnykh morei SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1954.
Zhizn’zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 1. Moscow, 1971.
Nikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.
V. M. MAKUSHOK