Scientific name Psychrolutidae
Higher classification Sculpin
|Lower classifications Blobfish, Psychrolutes|
The fish family Psychrolutidae contains the fatheads, fathead sculpins, or tadpole sculpins, including the blobfishes. About 40 species in 9 genera are recognized. This family consists of bottom-dwelling marine sculpins shaped like tadpoles, with large heads and bodies that taper back into small, flat tails. The skin is loosely attached and movable, and the layer underneath it is gelatinous. Members of the family generally have large, leaf-like pectoral fins and lack scales, although some species are covered with soft spines. They are found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. The adults live on the sea floor, between 100 and 2,800 m (330 and 9,190 ft) deep, Their name is derived from the Greek psychrolouteo, meaning "to have a cold bath". They tend to live in colder waters, although some range into warm-temperate seas.
The blob sculpin, Psychrolutes phrictus, exhibits complex nesting behaviors complete with egg guarding.