10 20 40 60 cm
mittakaava < 20 cm
Wilhelm von Wright: Pohjolan kalat, Petri Savola (Uudenmaan ympäristökeskus). All rights reserved.
- Family: Sculpins – Cottidae
- Similar species: fourhorn sculpin, short-horn sculpin
- Size: 10–15 cm, max. 18 cm.
- Appearance: The longspined bullhead resembles a small short-horn sculpin, but can be distinguished from its larger cousin by the two spines on each gill cover, the long anterior spine extending back beyond the posterior one. Another means to identification is the gill membrane: in the longspined bullhead this is attached to the throat at its mid-point while in the fourhorn and short-horn sculpins the membrane is free. A row of bony tubercles runs along the lateral line, the skin itself being scaleless. Backward sloping bony tubercles on top of the head.
- Colouring: Colour variable, olive green to brown with dark blotches forming four dark vertical bands. Sides may also show paler markings. Belly pale bluish green, but spawning males are more colourful, the belly turning red with pale blotches like the short-horn sculpin.
- Reproduction: Spawns in early spring. Eggs fertilized internally. Mating and spawning behaviour has not been fully studied in Finnish coastal waters.
- Food: Benthic invertebrates, small gobies and blennies.
- Distribution and habitat: Requires a higher salinity than the short-horn sculpin and is therefore restricted to the sea off Finland’s SW coast, although it is still less common than its larger cousin. Occurs only occasionally in the Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Botnia. Frequents water with weed-strewn rocky or stony bottoms.
When lifted from the water the longspined bullhead will sometimes emit a curious croaking sound.