Tuesday, June 29, 2010
June 29, 2010 : Lumpfish
Lumpsuckers or lumpfish are mostly small scorpaeniform marine fish of the family Cyclopteridae. They are found in the cold waters of the Arctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific oceans. The greatest number of species are found in the North Pacific.
The family name Cyclopteridae derives from the Greek words κύκλος (kyklos), meaning "circle", and πτέρυξpectoral fins of most of the fish that comprise this family.
Lumpsuckers are named appropriately enough; their portly bodies are nearly spherical with generally drab coloration and lithic patterns. The "sucker" part refers to the fish's modified pelvic fins, which have evolved into adhesive discs (located ventrally, behind the pectoral fins); the fish use these discs to adhere to the substrate. Many species have bony, wart-like tubercles adorning the head and body; these are important taxonomic (pteryx), meaning "wing" or "fin", in reference to the circle-shaped features of the family.