Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits gravel and rubble riffles of medium to large rivers and rocky shores of lakes (Ref. 5723). Occasionally enters estuaries (Ref. 5723). Feeds mostly at night and mostly on aquatic insects and benthic invertebrates (Ref. 27547). Generally solitary but large aggregations have been noted (Ref. 27547). Makes regular seasonal migrations associated with spawning (Ref. 27547). Considered a forage fish for some salmonids (Ref. 1998).
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Range encompasses Pacific Slope drainages in North America from the Aleutian Islands (west to Kiska) and Bristol Bay, Alaska, to Oso Flaco Creek, Santa Barbara County, California (sporadic south of Monterey County), with an isolated population in the lower Kobuk River, Chukchi Sea drainage, Alaska (Moyle 2002, Page and Burr 2011). Range includes Vancouver, Queen Charlotte, and Kodiak islands. In most areas, these sculpins occur near the coast.

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Range Description

Range encompasses Pacific Slope drainages in North America from the Aleutian Islands (west to Kiska) and Bristol Bay, Alaska, to Oso Flaco Creek, Santa Barbara County, California (sporadic south of Monterey County), with an isolated population in the lower Kobuk River, Chukchi Sea drainage, Alaska (Moyle 2002, Page and Burr 2011). Range includes Vancouver, Queen Charlotte, and Kodiak islands. In most areas, these sculpins occur near the coast.
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North America: Bristol Bay and Aleutian Islands, Alaska to northern California, USA. Isolated populations in lower Kobuk River (Alaska), Cultus Lake (British Columbia, Canada), and Lake Washington (USA) (Ref. 27547).
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Eastern North Pacific: Bristol Bay, Alaska Peninsula, and Aleutian Islands to southern California.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17 - 20; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 12 - 15; Vertebrae: 34 - 38
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Size

Length: 7 cm

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Maximum size: 170 mm TL
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Max. size

17.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723)); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 27547)
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished by having only a single pore on the tip of the chin, no palatine teeth and no pronounced gap between 1st and 2nd dorsal fins (Ref. 27547). Dark brown to greenish or grayish on back and sides, with darker blotches; sides lighter, ventral areas white; usually two or three dark saddle-like blotches below soft part of dorsal fin; dark bars on dorsal, anal, pectoral and caudal fins; orange edge on spiny dorsal fin of spawning males (Ref. 27547).
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Type Information

Type for Cottus aleuticus
Catalog Number: USNM 48716
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Year Collected: 1890
Locality: Bering Sea: Unalaska R., Alaska, United States, Bering Sea, Pacific
Vessel: Albatross
  • Type:
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Type for Uranidea microstoma
Catalog Number: USNM 26922
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Preparation: Illustration
Collector(s): W. Sockington
Year Collected: 1880
Locality: Kodiak, Alaska., Alaska, United States, Pacific
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat Type: Freshwater

Comments: Habitat includes gravel and rubble riffles of medium to large rivers and rocky shores of lakes, occasionally estuaries (Page and Burr 2011). Typically this sculpin is found in swift riffles in lower reaches of larger streams but also on mud, sand or gravel substrate in quiet backwaters near river mouths. Spawning usually occurs in lower reaches of streams and in estuaries (Morrow 1980). Eggs are deposited on the underside of rocks in swift current. Larvae are pelagic in open water in lakes and stream pools, become benthic at about 32-35 days.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat includes gravel and rubble riffles of medium to large rivers and rocky shores of lakes, occasionally estuaries (Page and Burr 2011). Typically this sculpin is found in swift riffles in lower reaches of larger streams but also on mud, sand or gravel substrate in quiet backwaters near river mouths. Spawning usually occurs in lower reaches of streams and in estuaries (Morrow 1980). Eggs are deposited on the underside of rocks in swift current. Larvae are pelagic in open water in lakes and stream pools, become benthic at about 32-35 days.

Systems
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; catadromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine
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Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0.3

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 0.3
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Some populations migrate downstream before spawning in the spring; yearlings and adults may migrate upstream in late summer to early winter (Morrow 1980).

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Catadromous. Migrating from freshwater to the sea to spawn, e.g., European eels. Subdivision of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Feeds mainly on aquatic insect larvae and other benthic invertebrates (e.g., clams and snails). May also feed on salmon eggs and fry when available.

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Inhabits gravel and rubble riffles of medium to large rivers and rocky shores of lakes (Ref. 5723). Occasionally enters estuaries (Ref. 5723). Feeds mostly at night and mostly on aquatic insects and benthic invertebrates (Ref. 27547). Generally solitary but large aggregations have been noted (Ref. 27547). Makes regular seasonal migrations associated with spawning (Ref. 27547). Considered a forage fish for some salmonids (Ref. 1998).
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80

Comments: This species is represented by a fairly large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

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Global Abundance

10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but apparently quite large. This sculpin is locally common (Page and Burr 2011), locally abundant in California (Moyle 2002).

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General Ecology

Predators include coho salmon and cutthroat trout.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Most active at night.

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Life Cycle

Adults make regular seasonal migrations associated with spawning. They move downstream to estuaries or at least to lower reaches of rivers in the spring, mostly at night (Ref. 27547). Eggs are deposited on the undersurface of a rock, in adhesive masses (Ref. 1998). Over 7,000 eggs have been found in a single nest, suggesting that a male may spawn with several females (Ref. 1998, 27547). The male guards the nest until all eggs have hatched (Ref. 1998, 27547). A reverse, upstream migration of yearlings and adults occur in late summer to early winter, from August to December (Ref. 27547).
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Reproduction

Reaches maturity in 2nd or 3rd year. Usually spawns in spring. Fecundity varies with the size and age of female; it ranges from 100 to 1,764 eggs/female for females that measure 5 to 10 cm TL (Morrow 1980).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cottus aleuticus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 10 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CCTATATCTAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCCGGAATAGTAGGCACAGCCTTAAGCCTCCTAATTCGAGCAGAACTAAGCCAACCCGGCGCCCTTTTAGGAGACGACCAGATTTATAATGTAATTGTTACAGCCCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATAATCGGGGGTTTCGGGAACTGACTCATTCCCCTAATGATCGGCGCCCCTGATATGGCCTTTCCTCGAATAAACAATATGAGCTTTTGACTCCTTCCCCCATCTTTCTTACTCCTCCTAGCCTCTTCGGGGGTCGAAGCAGGGGCCGGAACCGGATGAACAGTCTACCCTCCCCTCGCCGGAAACCTCGCCCACGCCGGGGCCTCTGTTGACCTAACGATCTTCTCCCTTCACCTAGCAGGTATTTCCTCTATTCTTGGAGCAATCAACTTTATCACAACTATCATTAATATGAAACCCCCTGCTATTTCTCAATACCAGACCCCGCTATTCGTGTGATCTGTTCTTATTACTGCTGTCCTACTGCTTCTTTCTCTCCCCGTACTTGCCGCCGGCATCACAATGCTCCTAACAGACCGAAACCTTAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCTGCCGGAGGGGGAGACCCNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cottus aleuticus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 11
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
NatureServe

Reviewer/s
Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations and locations, and large population size, and because the species probably is not declining fast enough to qualify for any of the threatened categories.
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.

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Population

Population
This species is represented by a fairly large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Total adult population size is unknown but apparently quite large. This sculpin is locally common (Page and Burr 2011), locally abundant in California (Moyle 2002).

Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: No major threats are known. Pollution, reduced stream flows, and filling of estuarine lagoons have eliminated this sculpin from some streams, especially in the southern part of the range (Moyle 2002).

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Major Threats
No major threats are known. Pollution, reduced stream flows, and filling of estuarine lagoons have eliminated this sculpin from some streams, especially in the southern part of the range (Moyle 2002).
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Not Evaluated
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Coastrange sculpin

The Coastrange sculpin, Cottus aleuticus is a freshwater sculpin of the genus Cottus. They are commonly found near the ocean in western North America, namely Canada and the United States. It is also known as the Aleutian sculpin.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

A Satellite view of the type locality: Unalaska (right).

While the name Uranidea microstoma has been used since 1880, it is unclear whether or not it corresponds to the Coastrange sculpin. The species was first officially described by Charles Henry Gilbert in 1896 from specimens he collected in streams of Unalaska island the year before. Cottus protrusus was described in 1933, but it has since been found to be a synonym.

Description[edit]

The Coastrange sculpin can be distinguished from other species due to several unique traits. It only has one pore under its chin, no palatine teeth, and no distinct gap between the two dorsal fins.[2] Adults can grow to be as long as 17 cm,[3] although their average length is only 6 cm.[4] Their maximum reported life span is 8 years.[2] Breeding female Coastrange sculpins are generally larger than males. Breeding males are almost entirely black with a tiny bit of orange trim on the first dorsal fin.[5]

Cultus Lake population[edit]

At Cultus Lake in British Columbia, one of the three areas where isolated populations of Coastrange sculpin exist, there exists a form smaller than the norm that lives in the lake depths and migrates to the surface at night to feed.[5] The Adults of this subtype, while smaller are fully mature save for the enlarged head pores that juveniles of the main form exhibit.[5] There is no clear explanation for what produced this phenotype, which differs from all other populations.[5]

Cultus lake

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Coastrange sculpin is found exclusively along the Pacific coast of North America. They range from Bristol bay and the Aleutian islands of Alaska, south to Santa Barbara County, California, Though they can also be found sporadically in streams as far south as Mendocino County[2][6] There are also isolated populations in Alaska's Kobuk river, Lake Washington of Washington State, and British Columbia's Cultus Lake.[2]

Living mostly in rivers and streams, Coastrange sculpins are found in riffles and glides with coarse or cobble stone bottoms from .20m to 1.0m in depth.[5] At night, they move into shallower, calmer waters on the edges of rivers. It occurs in virtually the same habitats as the Prickly sculpin (Cottus asper) and the two species encounter one another and interact regularly.[7] They also tend to encounter salmon and the Three-spined stickleback as well.[6]

Behavior[edit]

Costrange sculpins are solitary, nocturnal carnivores and known to eat nymphs and larvae of insects such as mayflies, stoneflies, and chironomids (and other aquatic invertebrates).[2][6] They are also known to eat the eggs and fry of the pink and chum salmon.[5] Their larvae are free swimming/floating and feed mostly on plankton, however they become bottom dwellers after they transform and eat the same diet as the adults, except that they take smaller organisms as prey.[5] They are also eaten by coastal cutthroat trout, coho and sockeye salmon, and Dolly Varden trout.[1]

Spawning[edit]

Coastrange sculpins normally spawn in spring, when the water warms past 6 degrees C, though eggs have been found as early as January in British Columbia.[5] During spawning both males and females migrate downstream, stopping just short of estuaries.[8] Males both excavate and defend the nesting site, which is normally under flat rocks.[5] During courtship, a female approaches the nesting site and the male begins a series of head nods, shakes and flares of the gill covers. Sometimes the body undulates during the head movements, sometimes the undulations exist without head motion altogether.[5] Several of these movements are not for visual effect but for producing a distinct sound to attract the female.[5] If the male has gained interest, the female will move closer into the nest site and the male will bite her on the cheek, side, tail, or pectoral fin; the male may even take the female's head into his mouth.[5] If the female is able to lay eggs, she will always enter the nest after being bitten.[5] Inside the nest, the female turns upside down and releases eggs that the male fertilizes. Males will spawn with multiple females this way, and may also spawn with each female multiple times.

Coastrange sculpin eggs are yellow to orange in color and are deposited on the underside of the flat rock at the top of the nest. They are less prolific than other sculpins and only produce an average of ~1000 eggs.[7] Larvae are active immediately after hatching and begin a nocturnal migration further downstream, where they usually grow for about a year in estuaries before returning to freshwater.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Scott, W.B. and E.J. Crossman 1973 Freshwater fishes of Canada. Bulletin of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. 184:1-966.
  2. ^ a b c d e Morrow, J.E. 1980 The freshwater fishes of Alaska. University of. B.C. Animal Resources Ecology Library. 248p.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Hugg, D.O. 1996 MAPFISH georeferenced mapping database. Freshwater and estuarine fishes of North America. Life Science Software. Dennis O. and Steven Hugg, 1278 Turkey Point Road, Edgewater, Maryland, USA.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m McPhail, J.D. and R. Carveth 1993 Field key to the freshwater fishes of British Columbia. Fish Museum, Department of Zoology, U.B.C., Canada, p. 239-240
  6. ^ a b c Moyle, Peter. 2002. Inland Fishes of California. University of California Press. Berkeley. pg. 349-350.
  7. ^ a b McGinnis, Samuel M. 1984. Freshwater Fishes of California. University of California Press. Berkeley. pg 234.
  8. ^ Mason, J.C., and S. Machidori. Populations of sympatric Cottus aleuticus and Cottus asper in four adjacent salmon-producing coastal streams on Vancouver Island. Fishery Bulletin.74: 131 - 141.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: First described as Uranidea microstoma from Kodiak Island; later synonymized with C. aleuticus. Cottus protrusus is considered another synonym of C. aleuticus (Lee et al. 1980). Formerly included in the order Perciformes; the 1991 AFS checklist (Robins et al. 1991) followed Nelson (1984) in recognizing the order Scorpaeniformes as distinct from the Perciformes.

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