Kessler's sculpin

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Kessler's sculpin
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Cottocomephoridae
Genus: Leocottus
Taliev, 1955
Species: L. kesslerii
Binomial name
Leocottus kesslerii
(Dybowski, 1874)

Cottus kessleri
Cottus kesslerii
Cottus trigonocephalus

Kessler's sculpin (Leocottus kesslerii) is a species of Baikal sculpin, a freshwater fish native to Russia and Mongolia where it occurs in Lake Baikal and surrounding lakes as well as the Selenga, Angara and Bain Gol rivers.[1] It is the only member of its genus.[1] In Lake Baikal it occurs on sandy, rocky-sandy or sandy-muddy bottoms, ranging from relatively shallow water to depths of 70 m (230 ft).[2] In rivers they mainly occur in slow-flowing channels and floodplains.[2]

This species grows to a total length of 14 cm (5.5 in), but typically is 9–11 cm (3.5–4.3 in).[2] Adults are crepuscular, and feed on gammarids, chironomids, and young fish.[2] Spawning takes place in May to June at 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft) depths. Eggs are deposited under stones, and the male stays guarding the eggs.[1] The pelagic larvae feed on plankton.[2]

The Kessler's sculpin is sometimes caught by commercial fishers,[2] and it is eaten by the Baikal seal, comprising about 0.3% of its diet in the winter and spring, and significantly more in the autumn.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Leocottus kesslerii" in FishBase. December 2012 version.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Песчаная широколобка" (in Russian). Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Baikal seal". Retrieved 3 June 2017.