15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Buffalo Sculpin For Kids

How many fun buffalo sculpin facts do you know? Brush up your knowledge with these fun facts about this fish!

The buffalo sculpin is a small fish that is found in the waters of California. These hardy fish are known for their ability to deep dive into the ocean, deeper than 60 ft (18.2 m), with the deepest length recorded being more than 700 ft (213.3 m)! They are usually colored in shades like brown, gray, green, and red. They are relatively small in size, about only 14 in (35.5 cm) long. They are usually solitary fish who come together only for mating season. Outside of this season, they will be found skimming the ocean floor searching for small prey - such as baby fish, algae, brine shrimp, and almost everything else that they can put in their mouths. However, due to this tendency to be solitary and hideaway, very little is known about them, making them the subject of a lot of research.

Scroll on ahead to read all you can know about the fun buffalo sculpin and various other creatures like it! Then, you can read on to know more about longhorn cowfish and pumpkinseed sunfish, and get to understand the lives of all these unique creatures!

Buffalo Sculpin

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Baby fish, algae, vertebrates

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?


How long are they?

14.5 in (36.8 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Red, brown, gray, green.

Skin Type

Moist skin

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them

Sandy and rocky reefs


California (Eastern Pacific Ocean)





Scientific Name

Enophrys bison





Buffalo Sculpin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a buffalo sculpin?

The buffalo sculpin, Enophrys bison, is a type of fish.

What class of animal does a buffalo sculpin belong to?

The sculpin (buffalo species) belongs to the class of fish.

How many buffalo sculpins are there in the world?

The sculpin is a fish that belongs to the Cottoidea superfamily, which includes 11 families, 756 species, and 149 genera. There are about 40 species within California waters.

Where does a buffalo sculpin live?

The buffalo sculpin (Enophrys bison) fish is lives in the depths of inshore reefs, in the ocean. The Eastern Pacific Ocean is home to the buffalo sculpin, which may be found between Kodiak Island in Alaska to Monterey Bay, California.

What is a buffalo sculpin's habitat?

They are most commonly found in sandy or rocky reef habitats, where they can blend in with the seaweed and rocks. These fish can be found at a depth as low as 65 ft (19.8 m), with the deepest documented depth being 743 ft (226.4 m). In the winter, the round gobi fish may dive to a depth of 162 ft (49.3 m).

Who does buffalo sculpin live with?

Sculpins that graze on algae are territorial and solitary fish. The sculpin digs its very own tidal pool and inhabits it.

How long does a buffalo sculpin live?

The estimated longevity of buffalo sculpins, particularly found in the Eastern Pacific, is unexplored.

How do they reproduce?

The buffalo sculpin species is an oviparous fish with paternal behavior. The female lays eggs on stones or human buildings in lower intertidal zones up to 39.3 ft (12 m) in late winter to early spring. The eggs are deposited in current-prone locations. A single male frequently spawns several females. With the pectoral fin, the male protects the nest and fans the eggs. Yolk sac larva develops after five to six weeks and starts life on their own.

What is their conservation status?

In most regions, the abundance of buffalo sculpin has not been evaluated. Consequently, the conservation status of this species, that habitat in depths of inshore reefs, has been unranked throughout their natural range.

Buffalo Sculpin Fun Facts

What do buffalo sculpin look like?

The buffalo sculpin, the Enophrys bison, is a saltwater fish with a fusiform, superiorly robust body and a thin caudal pedicel. With a modest snout, the head is noticeable. The fish's dorsum is black and green, or occasionally white has black mottling. The body is divided into three different dark bands, one going through the first dorsal and pectoral bases, the second thru the second dorsal fin, and the third just on the caudal peduncle. The dorsal fin is divided into seven to nine poisonous spines in the front and 10-13 soft rays in the back. The buffalo sculpin averages 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm) in length.

This ocean fish has incredible camouflage skills. This renders them attractive underwater since they change color to blend in with their surroundings, particularly the male buffalo sculpin, which guards the eggs. It's quite a sight to behold!

The buffalo sculpin has a small, blunt snout and comes in a range of hues and, like many other sculpins in the family Cottidae, have a variety of spiky fins, containing seven to nine dorsal spines.

How cute are they?

The buffalo sculpin, with its garish colors and prominent head, does not appear to be cute. It is sometimes referred to as ugly due to its venomous spines.

How do they communicate?

These sculpins interact with each other using their tactile and visual talents. During the mating season, they communicate by using their touch capabilities and varied body gestures. These fishes also have the great judgment of chemicals and a strongly developed neural system in their aquatic communities. These talents aid them in locating their prey as well as comprehending the water force and movement.

How big is a buffalo sculpin?

The average length range of the buffalo sculpin is about 10-12 in (25.4-30.4 cm). On the other hand, the mottled sculpin length range is between 3-6 in (7.6-15.2 cm). Therefore, buffalo species length range is larger than mottled fishes.

How fast can a buffalo sculpin swim?

Swim bladders enable fish to swim and move up or down in the ocean, but these fish that habitat in deep depth of inshore, lack them. It is difficult to swimming without swimming bladders. That's why sculpins appear to swim in a hopping motion. They crawl across the rocks by holding them up on tiny fins. These fins are especially excellent for gripping slick rocks.

How much does a buffalo sculpin weigh?

The average weight of these fish, with a broad and flat head, of Kodiak Island, is unexplored.

What are the male and female names of the species?

These male and female fish of California, which feed on algae, don't have any specific entitle.

What would you call a baby buffalo sculpin?

There is no particular name for baby buffalo sculpin species, particularly located in Kodiak Island situated at Alaska to Monterey Bay in California.

What do they eat?

In inshore reefs, the buffalo sculpin (Enophrys bison) devours various food, including baby fish, isopods, algae, mussels,  crabs, and amphipods, as well as vertebrates and marine invertebrates. The Siamese algae eater is a freshwater bottom dweller that enjoys eating dark beard algae.

Are they dangerous?

Because of its deadly spines, it is regarded as a dangerous fish. When we attempt to keep it, we can hear a low hum from it.

Would they make a good pet?

Because they have a reputation for being abrasive, even though the communities of this species are fascinating and have the ability to change color and match to a varied background, these are rarely mentioned pets. In addition, they aren't commonly thought of as pets because they require cold water, prefer caverns, rocks, and nooks to hide in, and eat live food. It is challenging for the owner to maintain consistent water temperatures and environment following the fish's preferences.

Did you know...

Anglers' lines frequently catch sculpin buffalo inside the Pacific Northwest. The buffalo sculpin is a fish that can be kept in aquariums. Due to its high deadly spines, this is considered a dangerous species. However, the thick armor that protects their bodies and the razor venomous spines on their bodies distinguish them.

These species, with large flat heads, are devoid of scales and swim bladders. As a result, sculpins spend practically all of their life on the floors of water bodies because they lack swim bladders.

The German term for a buffalo sculpin is 'büffelgroppe,' and its Polish title is 'glowacz bizonik.'

Is buffalo sculpin edible?

Buffalo sculpins compensate for their little size with fearsome spines that keep predators at bay. As a result, sculpins are not only delectable snacks for larger animals, such as humans, but they are also formidable predators in their very own way. The sculpin that resides in Eastern Pacific, is superb to eat.

Does buffalo sculpin have teeth?

The exact dental records of this fish with a broad head, found in Kodiak Island based in Alaska to Monterey (California), have not been properly explored.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Pacific salmon facts and sucker fish facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable blue snapper coloring pages.



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