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Myoxocephalus scorpius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Shorthorn sculpin
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
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Myoxocephalus scorpius   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Myoxocephalus scorpius (Shorthorn sculpin)
Myoxocephalus scorpius
Male picture by Østergaard, T.

Sweden country information

Common names: Horkell, Rötsimpa, Ulk
Occurrence: native
Salinity: brackish
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: no uses
Comments: Occurrence: Native and regular (Ref. 30402). Known from the Bothnian Sea (Ref. 30509). Also Ref. 43772.
National Checklist: Sweden checklist - Fish
Country Information:
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Muus, B. and P. Dahlström, 1978
National Database: Swedish Museum of Natural History

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Perciformes/Cottoidei (Sculpins) > Cottidae (Sculpins)
Etymology: Myoxocephalus: Greek, myos = muscle, and also, mouse + Greek, kephale = head (Ref. 45335).
  More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 0 - 451 m (Ref. 58496).   Polar; 80°N - 40°N, 95°W - 60°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: south-eastern coasts of Greenland, Jan Mayen Island, Iceland to British Isles and southward to Bay of Biscay, also North Sea, Baltic Sea, Spitsbergen and southern part of Barents Sea (including White Sea). Western Atlantic: James Bay in Canada to New York, USA (Ref. 7251). Arctic Ocean.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 17.8, range 15 - 30 cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9925); common length : 24.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4698); max. reported age: 18 years (Ref. 122394)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 7 - 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-19; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 9 - 15; Vertebrae: 34 - 39. Caudal fin rounded. Greenish brown above, often with dark blotches and bright milky-white spots above pectoral fins; underside cherry red (males) or light orange (females) with white spots; fins with dark bands (Ref. 4698).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found on rocky bottoms with sand or mud, or among seaweeds (Ref. 4698). Benthic (Ref. 58426). Feeds on fishes, large crustaceans, occasionally polychaetes and amphipods (Ref. 4698). During the spawning season, the male's underside becomes deep red with white spots.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Eggs are deposited in a clutch on the bottom and defended by the male. Larvae hatch after about 5 weeks.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Fedorov, V.V., 1986. Cottidae. p. 1243-1260. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 3. (Ref. 4698)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)

CITES (Ref. 123416)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

FAO areas
Food items
Food consumption
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


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Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 0.4 - 10.3, mean 4.5 (based on 1225 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00871 (0.00720 - 0.01053), b=3.15 (3.09 - 3.21), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.9   ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2; Fec=2,742).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100).