views updated

Stichaeidae (prickleback; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes) A family of marine fish that have long, slender bodies, and long dorsal fins extending to the tail end of the body and composed entirely of spiny rays. Prickle-backs tend to live in the intertidal zone, where the females guard their eggs by curling the body around the egg mass until hatching occurs. There are about 57 species, occurring in the N. Pacific and N. Atlantic.