You are hereRiffle Sculpin (Cottus gulosus)

Riffle Sculpin (Cottus gulosus)


In the Basin, riffle sculpin are most common in headwater streams where riffles
are the predominant habitat. If riffle sculpin and prickly sculpin occupy the same
stream, riffle sculpin typically prefer the cool, upper reaches of streams while
prickly sculpin can be found in the warmer, lower reaches.

Riffle sculpin are opportunistic bottom feeders, and will feed on isopods,
amphipods, chironomid larvae, snails and a variety of aquatic insects. They only
rarely feed on fish eggs and small fish. Most growth occurs during the spring
and summer months. Riffle sculpin seldom live beyond four years when they are
approximately 7.5 cm TL.

Maturity in riffle sculpin sets in at the end of their second year, and spawning
takes place from late February through April. Spawning habitat is characterized
as the underside of rocks in swift riffles or the inside cavities of submerged rotted
logs. Multiple females may lay their eggs in one nest. The male will remain in
the nest and guard the eggs and fry. Eggs will hatch in eleven (at 15°C) to
twenty-four days (at 10°C). Newly hatched sculpin do not leave the nest until the
yolk sac is absorbed, at which point they will assume a benthic existence.

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