Banded gunnel

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Banded gunnel
Pholis fasciata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Infraclass: Teleostei
Superorder: Acanthopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Zoarcoidei
Family: Pholidae
Genus: Pholis
Species: P. fasciata
Binomial name
Pholis fasciata
Bloch & Schneider, 1801

The Banded Gunnel (Pholis fasciata) is the only species of gunnel that lives in the Arctic Ocean. Very little is known about its life cycle or reproduction.

Physical characteristics[edit]

The Banded Gunnel reaches about 12 inches (30 cm) long and has an elongated body, somewhat like an eel. Its dorsal fin has small spikes and its skin is covered in tiny scales. Its color ranges from a bright reddish orange to greenish yellow. It has thin, dark red bands reaching across its belly, and white blotches with black spots on its back and dorsal fin. An olive-green and black stripe extends down from the top of the head down through the eyes and down the cheeks. The pectoral fins small (less than half the length of the head), and are fan-shaped. The pelvic fins are either tiny or absent.


The Banded Gunnel lives in arctic and subarctic waters in the Arctic Ocean, near Southern Labrador and Western Greenland, and in the North Pacific Ocean. It lives in the benthic zone, in sand, broken shells, and gravel. The temperature of the water usually ranges from 5-10 degrees Celsius.



The Banded Gunnel feeds on small crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, and shrimp.


The Banded Gunnel is fed upon by sculpins, cods, and occasionally sea birds.