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Author: (Müller, 1776)

Mallotus villosus (Müller, 1776)

Diagnosis: body elongate, somewhat compressed. Snout a little pointed, upper jaw reaching to about eye centre, lower jaw projecting; teeth on jaws small, vomerine teeth minute. Gillrakers 33-44 (48). Dorsal fin origin behind midpoint of body and about over pelvic fin bases, a low adipose fin behind it; pectoral finrays 16-21. Scales very small, 170-220, lateral line complete and reaching to caudal peduncle; males develop a midlateral ridge of elongate scales along flanks at spawning time. Colour: back yellowish-green, flanks with a broad silvery stripe with dark outline above, skin of upper parts (including fins) speckled. Size: to 22 cm.

Habitat: marine, littoral to neritic and epibenthic on fishing banks down to 300 m. Food: planktonic crustaceans. Reproduction: may form shoals and migrate to littoral spawning areas from spring to autumn (different populations), to lay adhesive eggs on beaches and banks. Mature males have the base of the anal fin strongly convex, the fins generally larger and their margins rounder, and two distinct lines of lanceolate scales on flanks (mid-lateral and between pectoral and pelvic bases), also small nuptial tubercles on fins (especially on the paired fins).

Distribution: Spitsbergen, Novaya Zemlya, White and Barents Seas to Oslo, also Bear I., Jan Mayen I., Faroes, Iceland and Greenland north to Scoresby Sound. Elsewhere, arctic Asia and North America, south to Korea and British Columbia in the Pacific, and to Maine in the Atlantic.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. No data.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Capelin (Mallotus villosus)