The Atlantic spiny lumpsucker is a strange looking,
olive-brown fish that has no scales, but is instead covered in cone-shaped tubercles.
Although this is perhaps the most common member of the lumpsucker family in the
Arctic, little is known of its biology.
The Atlantic spiny lumpsucker has a short, stout body that is thickest just before
the dorsal fin and tapers significantly to the caudal peduncle. It has a large
head with a rounded snout, small mouth and thick "fish lips". Like other members
of the lumpfish family, the Atlantic spiny lumpsucker's pelvic fins are modified
into an adhesive disc. The pectoral fin gives the appearance that the fish is
wearing a collar.
The Atlantic spiny lumpsucker occurs across the Canadian
Arctic to Greenland, from Hudson Bay, south along the coast of Labrador to the
Grand Banks, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off Nova Scotia. This is a bottom-dwelling
species, preferring mud, gravel or rocky bottoms, and is ordinarily found at depths
between 5 and 82 metres.
Studies of stomach contents indicate that amphipods
(shrimp-like crustaceans) are the only prey of this fish.