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Cottus cognatus  Richardson, 1836

Slimy sculpin
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Cottus cognatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Cottus cognatus (Slimy sculpin)
Cottus cognatus
Picture by Scarola, J.F.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads) > Cottidae (Sculpins)
Etymology: Cottus: Greek, kottos = a fish (Ref. 45335);  cognatus: Named after Mr. Fred Chamberlain, naturalist of the steamer Albatross, who collected the type (Ref. 11366).   More on author: Richardson.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; depth range 6 - 128 m (Ref. 1998).   Temperate; 4°C - 16°C (Ref. 13614); 71°N - 37°N

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 7.4  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 12.1 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27547); common length : 7.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27547); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 28921)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 7 - 10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-19; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 10 - 14; Vertebrae: 31 - 35. Distinguished by the two pores on the chin and the short lateral line ending under the second dorsal fin (Ref. 27547). Gill rakers short and stubby, about 6 on first gill arch; lateral line incomplete, ending under middle of soft dorsal fin and usually having a few isolated pores behind this point; main portion with 12 to 26 pores (Ref. 27547). Pectorals large and fan-shaped, tips of lower rays projecting; fourth ray of pelvic much reduced; caudal rounded (Ref. 27547). Rather dark brown or green to dark gray on back and sides, whitish below, with vague, dark mottlings or bars below soft dorsal; belly sometimes with orange tints; soft dorsal, pectoral and caudal fins usually barred, pelvic fins and anal usually immaculate but sometimes barred; spiny dorsal dark at base, with a clear margin that may turn orange in breeding males; breeding males usually dark, sometimes black, all over (Ref. 27547).

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

North America: throughout most of mainland Canada and Alaska; Atlantic Slope drainages south to Potomac River in Virginia, USA; St. Lawrence-Great Lakes basin; upper Mississippi River basin in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, USA; upper Columbia River drainage in Canada and USA. Also in Siberia, Russia.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits rocky riffles of cold streams, rocky areas of lakes (commonly at 90-106 m depth), springs and their effluents (Ref. 5723). Moves into shallow water to spawn (Ref. 27547). In some areas, they are common in brackish water (Ref. 27843), presumably moving to and from fresh water, at least for spawning (Ref. 27547). Feeds mostly on aquatic insect larvae and nymphs but also on crustaceans, small fishes, and plant materials (Ref. 1998). May be used as bait, but this seems rare (Ref. 27547).

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

The male chooses a nesting site under a rock or ledge. Spawning males are territorial toward other males (Ref. 27547). He attracts a female into the nesting site and after more courting the female deposits her adhesive eggs. The female is then driven out and the male guards the eggs until hatching occurs. The nest usually contains eggs from several females (Ref. 27547). The male has also been observed to guard the young (Ref. 1998).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. (Ref. 5723)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

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


Special reports

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00661 (0.00268 - 0.01629), b=3.17 (2.96 - 3.38), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.47 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=2-4; tmax=7; Fec=42-1,420).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100) .