Species Profile

Fourhorn Sculpin Freshwater form

Scientific Name: Myoxocephalus quadricornis
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
Range: Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Newfoundland and Labrador
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2003
Last COSEWIC Designation: Data Deficient
SARA Status: Schedule 3, Special Concern - (SARA Schedule 1 provisions do not apply)

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Image of Fourhorn Sculpin

Fourhorn Sculpin Photo 1



The Fourhorn Sculpin has four protuberances on the head, from which the species gets its name. It has two dorsal fins, a square caudal fin, an anal fin, small pelvic fins and large fanlike pectorals. The Fourhorn Sculpin does not have scales. It is dark grey to brown, with a darker back, lighter sides and light underparts; the back and sides of this sculpin are usually marked by four to seven bands. The Fourhorn Sculpin can measure up to 34 cm.


Distribution and Population

The freshwater form of the Fourhorn Sculpin is found in the North-west Territories and Nunavut.



Fourhorn Sculpins (freshwater form) inhabit freshwater lakes of the Arctic where no other freshwater species occur.



Female Fourhorn Sculpins can live up to 14 years while the males live up to 11 years. Sexual maturity is reached at 4 to 5 years. Females grow faster and are usually larger than males. Spawning occurs late in winter.


Fourhorn Sculpins are very susceptible to pollutants, such as those from mining activities.




PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

3 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment - Fourhorn Sculpin (2003)

    Designated Special Concern in April 1989. Status re-examined in November 2003 and designated Data Deficient. Last assessment based on an update status report.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2004 (2004)

    2004 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.