Beautiful Fish: Shorthorn Sculpin, Longhorn Sculpin, and Staghorn Sculpin -By Al Bezans

Meet the Horned Sculpins:

 

Shorthorn Sculpin; Daddy Sculpin; Black Sculpin; Greenland Sculpin

The Shorthorn Sculpin, with its large flat head, vast mouth, weak tapering body, bat-like pectorals, and insatiable appetite, typifies the sculpin race in northern seas.

 

Longhorn Sculpin; Gray Sculpin; Hacklehead; Toadfish

Everyone who has fished along the shores of our Gulf is more or less familiar with this sculpin, for it is a nuisance to cunner and flounder fishermen. It often is bothersome to the angler to unhook when it spreads its needle-sharp spines and erects its spiny dorsal fin. It grunts when pulled out of the water and bites on any bait.

 

Staghorn Sculpin

The most southerly record for this Arctic sculpin, and the only one for the Gulf of Maine, is of a specimen caught at Eastport, Maine, in 1872, and now in the United States National Museum. It is only as a very rare stray from colder waters to the north that it ever reaches our Gulf.

 

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schoeder (1953)  courtesy of MBL/WHOI

http://www.gma.org/fogm/Myoxocephalus_scorpius.htm

http://www.gma.org/fogm/M_octodecimspinosus.htm

http://www.gma.org/fogm/Gymnocanthus_tricuspis.htm

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