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Author: (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pollachius virens (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: lower jaw slightly projecting beyond upper one or jaws equal (in young). Eye small, about three times in snout length. Pelvic fin longer than orbit diameter. Caudal fin notched. First dorsal finrays 13-14, second dorsal finrays 20-22, third dorsal finrays 20-24; first anal finrays 25-28, second anal finrays 19-23. Vertebrae 53-56. Gillrakers 35-40. Colour: back greenish- brown or olive, lighter on sides, belly silvery grey. Size: to 120 cm SL, usually 60-90 cm.

Habitat: offshore and inshore, midwater, in surface and bottom layers. Behaviour: usually in small shoals. Food: almost entirely fish for the adults, crustaceans and small fish for the immature. Reproduction: from January in the south to May in the north, offshore at a depth of 100-200 m.

Distribution: European coasts from Bay of Biscay to Greenland, Iceland, Spitzbergen and Novaya Zemlya (young), White Sea (occasionally), Skagerrak, Kattegat, Meklenburg Bay (rare); also western North Atlantic.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Schmidt, 1905: 12, pl. I (fig. 10-18) | Ehrenbaum, 1908: 244, fig. 89 | d'Ancona, 1933: 194, fig. 183-186.
Otoliths (sagitta). Fryd, 1901: 26 | Scott, 1906: 65, pl. IA (fig. 1416) | Frost, 1926: 485, pl. XXII (fig. 9) | Schmidt, 1968: 15, pl. 2 (fig. 28), pl. 16.

Saithe (Pollachius virens)