Body is cottoid in shape; lateral line incomplete; prickles present, mainly behind the axil and at the base of the dorsal fin. Head large, broad, and oval in profile; preopercle with a single spine; palatine teeth present in broad bands. Dorsal fin with 6 spines and 18 or 19 rays; anal fin with 12 or 13 rays. Color brownish to brownish-gray; back and sides covered with several blackish bars.
Little is known of its life history, but it is assumed to be similar to that of other sculpins.
The type locality for the Shoshone sculpin is the Thousand Springs, Snake River near the mouth of Salmon Falls Creek in Idaho. Its range is much restricted and collections so far indicate it lives in the Snake River and tributary streams in Hagerman Valley.
Habits and Habitats
Freshwater sculpins usually inhabit cool streams and lakes. Sculpins have been used as indicators of waters of high quality, i.e., high oxygen, cool temperatures, and low levels of pollution.
Idaho Conservation Status
Idaho considers it a species of special concern. The immediate threat to the Shoshone sculpin appears to be loss of habitat due to water diversion for irrigation and commercial trout hatcheries.
Idaho Native or Import
Native. The Shoshone sculpin is endemic to streams in the Hagerman Valley of Idaho.
Simpson and Wallace 1982. Image Copyright Joseph Tomelleri. Used by permission.