Family Abyssocottidae 322deepwater Baikal sculpins Freshwater primarily Lake Baikal Siberia

Postcleithra reduced or absent; dorsal fin with 3-10 spines and 10-21 soft rays; anal fin with 8-16 soft rays; pelvic fin with one spine and 2-4 soft rays; vertebrae 30-37 (see Sideleva, 1982:52-55, for a description of this family).

In the present classification, the sculpins in Lake Baikal are placed in this family, in the Comephoridae, and in the Cottidae (genus Cottus and subfamily Cottocomephorinae); they account for slightly over half of its 50 known species. The species generally occur below 170 m. For comments on the placement of all Lake Baikal sculpins in Cottidae see above under suborder Cottoidei. Although not done here, my preference, given the phylogenetic evidence, is to include all members within Cottidae.

Six genera, Abyssocottus, Asprocottus, Cottinella, Limnocottus, Neocottus, and Procottus, with about 22 species (e.g., Sideleva, 2003).

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