Butterfish (Pholis gunnellus)
|Researched by||Judith Oakley||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandMost likely present all around Britain and Ireland.
Global distributionNorth Atlantic coasts (including White Sea, North Sea and west Baltic), Iceland, western Greenland and Labrador to Delaware Bay.
HabitatPrimarily found on the shore from mid to low tide mark amongst seaweed, under rocks and in crevices. It is also common subtidally to 40 m. Offshore it occurs amongst rocky areas but also on sand and muddy substrata.
- Eel-like, laterally compressed body.
- Small head with almost upward looking eyes.
- Black stripe through eye.
- Thick fleshy lips.
- Short, stout spines forming one long dorsal fin.
- Minute spiny pelvic fins.
- Scales minute and embedded.
- Very slimy skin.
- Row of approximately 12 conspicuous white-ringed black spots on back, along base of dorsal fin.
Additional informationPholis gunnellus is related to Chirolophis ascani (Yarell's blenny) and together these belong to a group called the Arctic blennies (Dipper, 2001). The butterfish is unusual in that both parents may take turns to guard the eggs. The name 'butterfish' derives from the slimy skin of this fish.
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Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.
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Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre, 2017. Fish: Records for Kent.. Occurrence dataset https://doi.org/10.15468/kd1utk accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.
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Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.
Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.
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OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System), 2023. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2023-12-02
Outer Hebrides Biological Recording, 2018. Vertebrates (except birds, INNS and restricted records), Outer Hebrides. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/dax3tf accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.
South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Fish (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/htsfiy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.
This review can be cited as:
Last Updated: 29/04/2008