Fluffy Sculpin

Oligocottus snyderi

Order: 

Scorpaeniformes

Family: 

Cottidae

Fluffy sculpins can be found in tidepools, hidden among the algae (1). Their color is extremely variable; ranging from green to reddish to pink (1). Generally they have a spotted or mottled color pattern with a blue underbelly (1). Morphologically they are between 8-9 cm and have a smooth, scaleless body (1). They primarily consume amphipods and polychaetes, a type of segmented worm, though at larger sizes fluffy sculpins can eat shrimp, crabs and isopods (2). While they have a short life span of 1.5 years they maximize their lifespan by rapidly growing and timing their reproduction for nutrient rich upwelling events (1).

 

(1) Eschmeyer, W. N., & Herald, E. S. (1983). A field guide to Pacific Coast fishes: North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

(2) Freeman, M. C., Neally, N., & Grossman, G. D. (1986). ASPECTS OF THE LIFE HISTORY OF THE FLUFFY SCULPIN, OLIGOCOTTUS SNYDER (Vol. 83(4), pp. 1-12) (United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fishery Service). Fishery Bulletin.

Habitat: 

  • rocky intertidal