Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Scorpaeniformes
(Scorpionfishes and flatheads) > Cottidae
Etymology: Cottus: Greek, kottos = a fish (Ref. 45335); specus: The specific epithet 'specus' means a cave or cavern, in reference to the primary habitat in caves.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Temperate, preferred ?
North America: Bois Brule drainage in eastern Missouri, USA.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 10.3 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 92978)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 7 - 8;
soft rays: 12 - 14. Distinguished from all congeners, except Cottus carolinae, Cottus chattahoochee, Cottus confusus, Cottus hubbsi, and some populations of Cottus beldingii by the complete lateral line ending near the base of the caudal fin and dorsal fins not usually connected. Cottus specus only occupies geographically adjacent to C. carolinae and can be distinguished by a reduction in eye size: 1-5% SL in 98% of specimens (1-4% in 85% of specimens) versus eye size 5-9% of SL in 100% of specimens. Cottus specus possesses a significant increase in cephalic lateralis pore size, 92% above 500 mm (vs. 100% in C. carolinae between 200-500 mm) (Ref. 92978).
Occurs in cave streams as well as their resurgences, primarily over gravel, cobble, or bedrock bottom (Ref. 92978).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Builds nests under cobble or pebble substrate. Lays adhesive eggs, in a clump, that are attached to the underside of a rock (Ref. 92978).
Adams, G.L., B.M. Burr, J.L. Day and D.E. Starkey, 2013. Cottus specus, a new troglomorphic species of sculpin (Cottidae) from southeastern Missouri. Zootaxa 3609(5):484-494. (Ref. 92978)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00912 (0.00466 - 0.01787), b=3.08 (2.91 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .