Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Fish: Cottus asper

I'm pretty sure I saw one of these in Harrison lake last weekend. I was sitting on a large rock in about 1.5 meters of water, and one of these little freshwater sculpins moved away from my foot. It came back close to my foot after a couple of minutes, and seemed to be interested in the sediment I was kicking up.

I had no idea there were any freshwater sculpins. From above, I thought it looked like an armored catfish, or a pleco, but neither of those are known to occur in Harrison lake. The key I used to tentatively identify the species requires access to a specimen; I didn't capture it, so I know nothing about the finer details of its morphology.

The picture has some copyright notice on it; I got it from a USGS website.

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