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Leptocottus armatus  Girard, 1854

Pacific staghorn sculpin
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Native range | All suitable habitat | Year 2100
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Leptocottus armatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Leptocottus armatus (Pacific staghorn sculpin)
Leptocottus armatus
Picture by Nichols, J.

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: Leptocottus: Greek, leptos = thin + Greek, kottos = a fish (Ref. 45335);  armatus: Leptocottus meaning slender Cottus; armatus armed, referrign to the sharp preopercular spines (Ref. 4930).   More on author: Girard.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; demersal; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 156 m.   Temperate; 60°N - 33°N

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 46.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); common length : 35.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 28936)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 6 - 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15-20; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 15 - 20; Vertebrae: 37 - 39. Distinguished by the large upper preopercular spine ending in 3 or 4 sharp, upturned, curved spinules and by the large, dark spot on the posterior part of the spiny dorsal fin (Ref. 27547). Gill rakers reduced to flat, bony plates, each bearing a cluster of small teeth; lateral line nearly straight; each pore associated with a small subdermal cartilaginous plate (Ref. 27547). Caudal rounded (Ref. 6885). Grayish olive to rather green, occasionally with some yellow, dorsally; orange-yellow to white or silvery below lateral line; spiny dorsal dusky, with a black spot near tips of last 3 spines, a white band below it; soft dorsal fin dusky, with several oblique white to yellowish bands; pectorals yellow with 5 or 6 dark greenish bars; caudal dusky with one or two pale bands; anal and pelvic fins pale (Ref. 27547).

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

Eastern Pacific: Izembek Lagoon, on the southeastern Bering Sea coast of Alaska to Bahia San Quintin, northern Baja California, Mexico.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Commonly found near shore, especially in bays and estuaries; most frequently on sandy bottom (Ref. 2850). Intertidal individuals breath air when out of water (Ref. 31184). Can leave tide pools if aquatic conditions become inhospitable (Ref. 31184). Although some individuals may spend their entire life in highly saline waters (Ref. 28693), some newly metamorphosed young move from the estuarine spawning sites to completely fresh water and may remain there for up to 6 weeks (Ref. 27547). Adults apparently tend to remain in the shallow lower estuary, or farther offshore (Ref. 27547). Feeds mostly on crabs, shrimps and amphipods, but also takes larval, juvenile and adult fishes, as well as polychaete worms, mollusks and other invertebrates (Ref. 4930). Expands its gill covers and produces a low-pitched humming sound when stressed (Ref. 6885). Considered a nuisance by anglers (Ref. 27547).

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

Oviparous (Ref. 101741).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 336 p. (Ref. 2850)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

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 | 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 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00955 (0.00437 - 0.02085), b=3.17 (2.96 - 3.38), based on LWR estimates for species & (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.7   ±0.64 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1; tmax=10).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (24 of 100) .