Latin name

Scorpaenichthys marmoratus, Leptocottus armatus

Other names

Cabezon, Staghorn Sculpin


Sculpin are characterized by a broad body tapering to a thin, compressed tail. They may be scaleless, have spiny or plate-like scales, and their development varies from species to species depending on habitat. All sculpins have a bony support under each eye, which connects the bones to the front of the gill covers. The dorsal fins have a deep notch between the barbs and soft rays, and the pectoral fins are large and fan-shaped. The coloration and pattern varies, although they are mostly mottled with various shades and are defensively masked by their mottled pattern.


Most of the fish are marine, but many are also found in fresh waters of the Northern Hemisphere.


Cold-water bottom fish, sculpin live in shelf waters and in rocky tidal basins. Several species of large sculpin live at depths of up to 4,200 feet in salt water. The grunting sculpin (Rhamphocottus richardsonii) is so named because of the sounds it makes when pulled out of the water. It can be seen in aquariums.


Of the marine species, the largest and best known is the cabezon, or large marbled sculpin (Scorpaenichthys marmoratus), which weighs up to 30 pounds.

Life history and Behavior

No information

Food and feeding habits

Sculpin are mainly carnivorous, they cling to the bottom and pounce on small invertebrates, crustaceans, and mollusks to find food.


No information

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Scorpaeniformes
Family Cottidae
Genus Scorpaenichthys
Species S. marmoratus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 14
Maximum length, cm 99
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Tags: Sculpin