Family Psychrolutidae

Fathead Sculpins

Fathead Sculpin

Selected Characters: Body stout; head large; spinous and soft-rayed dorsal fins continuous or not, anterior dorsal often partly buried in skin; skin mostly naked, but prickles or papillae sometimes present.

Formerly included in the Cottidae, the 29 species of psychrolutids are found in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. They are typically bottom-dwelling fishes with species found at depths ranging from shallow near-shore areas to depths of about 2800 meters. The largest psychrolutids may be as long as 65 cm, but the four species that occur in Puget Sound are all less than 25 cm long. This family is moderately common in our region.

Puget Sound Species

Dasycottus setiger Spinyhead Sculpin

Gilbertidia sigalutes Soft Sculpin

Malacocottus kincaidi Blackfin Sculpin

Psychrolutes paradoxus Tadpole Sculpin