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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Myoxocephalus scorpius Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: body with bony scutes above lateral line; head large, broad, with warty protuberances; upper preopercular spine moderate, not reaching gill cover, second preopercular spine less than half upper one. Caudal peduncle relatively short and stout. D VII-XII+13-20; A 9-15; P 14-18; l.l. 36-43. Vertebrae 34-39. Colour: greeny-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. Size: to 60 cm SL, usually 18-30 cm.

Habitat: benthic on rocky bottoms with sand or mud, or among seaweeds, at (0) 20-50 (250) m, with temperatures below OCC, usually 2-7 °C or up to 10-15 °C in the south. and salinities usually 32-33ä, but also in brackish water (to 24ä or less in Finland Bay). Food: fishes (cod, flounders, smelts, herrings, sticklebacks, etc.), large crustaceans(Hyas, Crangon, Sclerocrangon, Leander, Mesidothea, etc.), occasionally polychaetes and amphipods. Reproduction: spawns December-March; eggs demersal, diameter 2.0-2.5 mm, laid in clumps between rocks and guarded by males; fry pelagic.

Distribution: south-eastern coasts of Greenland, Jan Mayen I., Iceland to British Isles and southward to Bay of Biscay, also North Sea, Baltic Sea, northward to Spitzbergen and southern part of Barents Sea (including White Sea). Elsewhere, Kara Sea, western North Atlantic from southern Greenland and St Lawrence to New Jersey.

Subspecies

Myoxocephalus scorpius scorpius. vertebrae 34-36; vomer width at least as broad as inter-orbital space; spinules in skin (rare) with 1-3 posterior denticles; entire range east of Greenland (Clofnam 1 88.5.2).
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Collett, 1880: 25 | McIntosh & Prince, 1890: 675, 689, 861, pl. 1 (fig. 3), pl. XIV (fig. 4), pl. XVI (fig. 9), pl. XIX (fig. 4) | McIntosh & Masterman, 1897: 122-129, pl. 1(fig. 5-6), pl. V (fig. 7-8) | Knipowitch, 1901: 10 | Ehrenbaum, 1904: 131-137, pl. III (fig. 5), pl. V (fig. 35), pl. VIII; 1905: 55-57, fig. 22 | Koefoed, 1907: pl. LXXVII (fig. 4) | Saemundsson, 1927: 10 | Rass, 1929:
ll | Pertseva, 1939: 458 | Rass, 1941: 10, fig. 4; 1949: 12, 25, 41-42, fig. 18 | Ponomareva, 1949: 196 | Duncker, 1960: 300-302 | Kändler, 1961: 55, pl. 3-4 | Lamp, 1966: 98.
Otoliths (sagitta). McIntosh & Prince, 1890: pl. VI (fig. 11) | Koken, 1891: 132 | Fryd, 1901: 20 | Scott, 1906: 55, pl. III (fig. B): 63-65 | Werker, 1928: 523, 569, fig. 8 (A) | Frost, 1929: 262, pl. III (fig. 23) | Havinga, 1933: 104 | Chaine & Duvergier, 1934: 152, pl. IV | Chaine, 1935: 238 | Schmidt, 1968: 56, pl. 11 (fig. 157), pl. 23.

Myoxocephalus scorpius groenlandicus: vertebrae 37-39; vomer width less than inter-orbital space; spinules in skin (rare) with 8 posterior denticles; south-eastern coasts of Greenland and western North Atlantic (Clofnam 188.5.2.2).
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Jensen, 1904: 239-241, pl. 2037-2045, fig. 1-5.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Arctic sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius)