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Author: (Pennant, 1784)

Molva dipterygia (Pennant, 1784)

Diagnosis: lower jaw projecting beyond upper one. Eye large, less than five times in head length and 1.2-1.3 in snout length. Head large, four and a half to five times in body length. First dorsal finrays 12-14, second dorsal finrays 72-84; anal finrays 70-76. Vertebrae 76-79. (In M. dipterygia macrophthalma: first dorsal finrays 10-12, second dorsal finrays 76-83; anal finrays 75-78. Vertebrae 80-84.) Colour: copper-coloured without marbling, diffuse dark mark at end of unpaired fins and all with pale edge. Size: rarely more than 130 cm SL.

Habitat: deepwater, usually 350-500 m, rarely 200 and 1,000 m. Food: crustaceans, fishes. Reproduction: spring, usually from May to beginning of June, at 500-600 to 1,000 m depth.

Distribution: north-eastern Atlantic from Iceland, western Barents Sea (occasionally), Trondheim Fjord, Skagerrak, Kattegat to Scotland, Ireland, Bay of Biscay and Morocco, also western Mediterranean. Elsewhere, western North Atlantic (rare).

Subspecies

Molva dipterygia dipterygia: Pelvic fin not extending beyond tip of pectoral fin; north-eastern Atlantic from Iceland to Ireland.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Schmidt, 1906a: 7, pl. I (fig. 1-13); 1907a: 9, fig. 1, pl. I (fig. 5-8) | Ehrenbaum, 1909: 264, fig. 95.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Molva dipterygia macrophthalma: pelvic fin extending beyond tip of pectoral fin; Faroes (one record), Ireland to Morocco and western Mediterranean.
Eggs, larvae and young stages. Schmidt, 1907a: 8, pl. I (fig. 1-4) | Ehrenbaum, 1909: 271, fig. 97 | d'Ancona, 1933: 229, fig. 214, pl. XIll (fig. 4).
Otoliths (sagitta). Sanz Echeverria, 1926: 159, fig. 65; 1935: 260, pl. XXX (fig. 5-6).

Blue ling (Molva dipterygia)