Sculpins (Cottidae)

Sculpins silhouette.

Sculpins are a large family with a worldwide distribution in marine and fresh waters. Sculpins have a flattened head, large frog-like mouth and eyes, a scaleless body, and large fan-shaped pectoral fins. They have two closely-spaced dorsal fins (one spiny, one soft), thoracic pelvic fins, a rounded tail fin and no anal spines. Two freshwater species exist in Connecticut, one native and one recently introduced.

Click on the species name below to learn more.

Slimy Sculpin (Cottus cognatus) - Native

8 cm slimy sculpin in a tank.


Knobfin Sculpin (Cottus Immaculatus) - Introduced

Large knobfin sculpin caught during stream survey.

Text and images adapted from Jacobs, R. P., O'Donnell, E. B., and Connecticut DEEP. (2009). A Pictorial Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Connecticut. Hartford, CT. Available for purchase at the DEEP Store.