The Cottidae are a family of fish in the superfamily Cottoidea, the sculpins. It is the largest sculpin family, with about 275 species in 70 genera. They are referred to simply as cottids to avoid confusion with sculpins of other families.
Cottids are distributed worldwide, especially in boreal and colder temperate climates. The center of diversity is the northern Pacific Ocean. Species occupy many types of aquatic habitats, including marine and fresh waters, and deep and shallow zones. A large number occur in near-shore marine habitat types, such as kelp forests and shallow reefs. They can be found in estuaries and in bodies of fresh water.
Most cottids are small fish, under 10 cm (3.9 in) in length. The species Scorpaenichthys marmoratus can be up to 78 cm (31 in) in length. They vary in coloration and patterning between species and between individuals of some species, and sometimes between sexes. Their eyes are large and placed high on the head. Adults lack swim bladders.
The 70 genera of the family include:
- Andriashevicottus – Andriyashev largeheaded sculpin
- Artediellichthys – blackfin hookear sculpin
- Artediellus – hookear sculpins
- Ascelichthys – rosylip sculpin
- Chitonotus – roughback sculpin
- Clinocottus – sharpnose sculpins
- Cottus – freshwater sculpins, miller's thumbs
- Enophrys - stone sculpins
- Icelus – scaled sculpins
- Jordania – longfin sculpin
- Leiocottus – lavender sculpin
- Leptocottus – Pacific staghorn sculpin
- Micrenophrys – Norway bullhead
- Myoxocephalus – daddy sculpins, great sculpins, shorthorn sculpins
- Oligocottus – tidepool johnnies
- Orthonopias – snubnose sculpin
- Paricelinus – thornback sculpin
- Phallocottus – spineless sculpin
- Porocottus – fringed sculpins
- Scorpaenichthys – cabezon
- Synchirus – manacled sculpin
- Taurulus – longspined bullhead
- Thyriscus – sponge sculpin
- Trachidermus – roughskin sculpin
- Trichocottus – hairhead sculpin
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cottidae.|
- Kane, E. A. and T. E. Higham. (2012). Life in the flow lane: differences in pectoral fin morphology suggest transitions in station-holding demand across species of marine sculpin. Zoology (Jena) 115(4), 223-32.
- Eschmeyer, W. N. (1998). Paxton, J. R. and W. N. Eschmeyer., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 178–79. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
- Froese, R. and D. Pauly. (Eds.) Cottidae. FishBase. 2011.
- Cottidae. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).