Cottus poecilopus  Heckel, 1837

Alpine bullhead
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Cottus poecilopus
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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).   More on author: Heckel.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; depth range 0 - 15 m (Ref. 58496).   Temperate; 72°N - 36°N, 10°E - 171°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 4 - 10 cm
Max length : 15.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4698); common length : 11.8 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35840); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 4698)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Anal soft rays: 13 - 15. Differs from all other species of Cottus in Europe by possessing spatulate prickles; pelvic-fin rays tessellated, with 5-15 distinct rows of spot, appearing as transverse bands; and 2 chin pores. Additional characters useful in the identification of this species include: lateral line clearly above midline of body (shared only with C. koshewnikowi); lateral line clearly above midline of body; lateral line incomplete, usually reaching to anal-fin base; and prickling restricted to body under pectoral fin (Ref. 55856).

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

Europe and Asia: Streams in Carpathians draining to Danube, Dniestr, Vistula and Odra. Baltic Sea basin, especially in northern Sweden and Finland between 64 and 68°N, central Finnish lakes area, a few streams in southern Finland and northern Poland, Lake Ladoga and southern Lake Onega basins, a few lakes in northern Germany (extirpated), Lake Hañcza in Poland and Skjernaa drainage in Denmark. In Siberia from River Ob eastward to River Lena. Absent in rivers draining to Baltic Sea south of Iijöki drainage in central Finland and in rivers draining to the White and Barents Seas. Cottus populations from the Kolyma, Amur and Korean drainages usually identified as Cottus poecilopus belong to a different species. In Appendix III of the Bern Convention (protected fauna).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits northern, and mountain and foothill streams, and oligotrophic lakes. Found in fast-flowing waters of coastal streams, rivers, inland lakes, usually on stony bottoms (Ref. 4698). Moves downstream to estuaries and tolerates brackish waters (Ref. 4698). Feeds on algae (diatoms, desmids, blue-green algae), polychaetes, crustaceans, aquatic insect larvae and nymphs (Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera, Plecoptera, Chironomidae), fish eggs and larvae.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Freyhof, J., M. Kottelat and A. Nolte, 2005. Taxonomic diversity of European Cottus with description of eight new species (Teleostei: Cottidae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 16(2):107-172. (Ref. 55856)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Bait: usually
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | 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=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.0   ±0.34 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=8).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Low.