Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin
Sculpin family - cottidae, pp. 963-981 ff. PDF (8.9 MB)
Sculpin Family- Cottidae Four species of sculpins in two genera are known from Wisconsin. In the United States and Canada, 111 named species occur, three-fourths of which refer to the Pacific Ocean, including the western Arctic. In addi- tion to the named species, some 30 little-known cottids have been re- corded in the North American waters of Alaska alone (Robins et al. 1980). Although primarily marine fishes of arctic and temperate seas, one genus in particular, Cottus, is widely distributed in the fresh waters of the northern hemisphere. Twenty-one strictly freshwater species have evolved in North American waters, and, within that genus, several species are confined to only a spring or two. The family contains at least 300 spe- cies. The cottids are known from the Oligocene to Recent. They are among the most advanced of fishes. Sculpins are characterized by enlarged, flattened heads and by expan- sive pectoral fins. The body tapers from the broad head to a relatively narrow caudal peduncle. The preopercle is variously armed with spines. The eyes are dorsal in position and occasionally are close set. The first dorsal fin is spiny, but the spines are soft. The pelvic fins possess a single spine which is bound by a membrane to the first pelvic ray, creating a single element. Scales are lacking, or are represented by dermal prickles. Although freshwater sculpins are small fishes of 18 cm or less, some marine species may attain lengths of 61 cm or more. In Wisconsin, the sculpins are typical inhabitants of rocky, cool headwater streams; here they retreat under stones during daylight hours. Sculpins are primarily carnivorous, feeding largely on microcrusta- ceans and aquatic insects. In trout streams they have long been accused 963
http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/| Copyright 1983. The entirety of this book is available for viewing by the public as an Open Access text through the cooperative efforts of George Becker, the University of Wisconsin Press, and the UWDCC. This Work is copyrighted to the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Any use of this material falling outside the purview of "Fair Use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press.