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Longhorn sculpin.jpg
Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Scorpaeniformes
Suborder: Cottoidei
Superfamily: Cottoidea

A sculpin is a type of fish that belongs to the superfamily Cottoidea in the order Scorpaeniformes.[1] As of 2006, this superfamily contains 11 families, 149 genera, and 756 species.[2]

Sculpins occur in many types of habitat, including ocean and freshwater zones. They live in rivers, submarine canyons, kelp forests, and shallow littoral habitat types, such as tidepools.[1]

Sculpins are benthic fish, dwelling on the bottoms of water bodies. Their pectoral fins are smooth on the upper edge and webbed with sharp rays along the lower edge, a modification that makes them specialized for gripping the substrate. This adaptation helps the fish anchor in fast-flowing water.[1] The sculpin normally grows to about four inches long.[3]


Families include:[4]



  1. ^ a b c 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.
  2. ^ Nelson, J. S. (2006) Fishes of the World. 4th Ed. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
  3. ^ Madgic, Bob (1999). A guide to California's freshwater fishes. William L. Crary. Happy Camp, Calif. p. 140. ISBN 9780879612542. OCLC 874011528.
  4. ^ Froese, R. and D. Pauly. (Eds.) Order Summary for Scorpaeniformes. FishBase. 2011.