Myoxocephalus scorpius

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Myoxocephalus scorpius
Myoxocephalus scorpius PAQ.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Family: Cottidae
Genus: Myoxocephalus
Species: M. scorpius
Binomial name
Myoxocephalus scorpius
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Myoxocephalus scorpius, known variously as the shorthorn sculpin, short-spined sea scorpion, bull-head, bull-rout and the father-lasher, is a demersal fish of the Northern Atlantic and adjacent subarctic coasts, and of the Arctic including the coasts of Alaska and Siberia.[1][2] It reaches maturity at 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) in length and specimens from the Arctic and subarctic, which grow to the largest size, can reach up to 60 cm (24 in). The fish has a squat appearance, a large spiny head and a tapering body. It is a mottled grey-brown in colour but can be darker, including black as base coloring. It has a large mouth and spiny gill covers.[1]

Shorthorn sculpin is found among seaweed or on rocky bottoms with mud or sand from 0 to 451 m (0–1,480 ft).[1] In arctic regions they can also be found in tidal pools. They feed on a wide range of demersal and benthic fishes and crustaceans.[3]

Myoxocephalus scorpius is not venomous, but it can be mistaken for similar looking venomous fishes, notably scorpionfish.[4]


The shorhorn sculpin spawns in December-March, the eggs being laid on between rocks in a clump protected by the male. They hatch in 5-12 weeks depending on temperature(the colder it is the longer they take).

Other names[edit]

The English vernacular names of this fish include shorthorn sculpin (USA, Canada, Alaska), short-spined sea scorpion (UK, Ireland), bull-rout (UK), bullhead (UK), father-lasher (Isle of Man), goat sculpin, guffy, horny whore, pig-fish, scolping, scopin, scopy, scully, sculpin, granny fish, scummy and scumpy (all Newfoundland).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Myoxocephalus scorpius" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  2. ^ Shorthorn Sculpin, Myoxocephalus scorpius Canada's Polar Life: Organisms.
  3. ^ The Pocket Guide to Saltwater Fishes of Britain and Europe
  4. ^