Banded Gunnel, Pholis fasciata

Banded gunnel, Pholis fasciata.
The banded gunnel is a small fish that is so brightly coloured it would seem more suited to a coral reef than to the frigid waters of the Canadian Arctic. Its body is slender, elongate, and brilliant scarlet. The base of its dorsal fin has ten equally spaced dark blotches and there is a horizontal black bar running through each eye. The name "banded" comes from the lighter violet bands that run vertically on the sides of its body, from the belly up to the base of the dorsal fin. Its dorsal fin runs the length of the back, from the top of the head to the base of the caudal fin. The anal fin starts halfway down the belly and also ends at the caudal fin. Although both the dorsal and anal fins are attached, the caudal fin is distinctive. The pectoral fins are somewhat reduced, while the pelvic fins are vestigial. This fish reaches a length of 24 cm.

The banded gunnel ranges from the northern Pacific Ocean to Hudson Bay and down the Labrador coast. It has also been found off the western coasts of Greenland. Little is known of its life history or ecology.