Family Psych Roluti Dae 325fathead sculpins Marine Atlantic Indian and Pacific

Body naked or with plates bearing prickles; interorbital space usually greater than exposed eye diameter (much smaller in Malacocottus); lateral line reduced, with 20 or fewer pores; pelvic fin with one spine and three soft rays; dorsal fins usually continuous with spinous dorsal, often partially hidden by skin (bases separate or nearly so in Malacocottus and Dasycottus); branchioste-gal rays seven; prevomerine teeth present or absent, palatine teeth always absent; one or two postorbitals (if two, they are usually ringlike; cottids have two or three elongate postorbitals); system of well-developed bony arches, which may bear spines, on the cranium over the lateral line system with wide intervening space; vertebrae 28-38. Maximum length about 65 cm, attained in Psychrolutes paradoxus. Psychrolutids range in depth from inshore shallow water (P. sigalutes) to up to about 2,800 m (P. phrictus).

Two subfamilies (paraphyletic according to Jackson and Nelson, 1998) with eight genera and about 35 species (e.g., Nelson, 1995; Jackson and Nelson, 1998, 1999, 2000). Both subfamilies have members in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Subfamily Cottunculinae. Head well ossified, interorbital margins hard, and head spines often present; relatively narrow interorbital area, width less than two times diameter of exposed eye; body and fins usually not of uniform color.

Five genera, Ambophthalmos, Cottunculus, Dasycottus, Eurymen, and Malacocottus.

Subfamily Psychrolutinae. Head poorly ossified, interorbital margins soft, and head spines absent; wide interorbital area, width more than two times diameter of exposed eye; body and fins usually of uniform color.

Three genera, Ebinania, Neophrynkhthys,, and Psychrolutes (synonym Gilbertidia).

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