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Author: (Brünnich, 1771)

Trachipterus arcticus (Brünnich, 1771)

Diagnosis: body elongate, compressed, greatest depth at a quarter or a third of its length, body axis a straight line. Head short, mouth small, protrusible; no teeth on palatines. Dorsal fin long, with 150-190 finrays, the first 5 or 6 rays elongate, often damaged in adults; no anal fin; pectoral fins small, inserted horizontally; pelvic fins elongate in young, minute or absent in adults; caudal fin fan-like. Scales absent; lateral line straight on tail. Colour: silvery with 1-5 dark spots along the body, disappearing in large specimens; dorsal fin red. Size: to 2.5 m SL, usually 1 m.

Habitat: mesopelagic down to 600 m; probably solitary although occasional aggregations have been reported, possibly for either feeding or breeding purposes. Food: small fishes and squids. Reproduction: few data; eggs, larvae and young pelagic.

Distribution: eastern North Atlantic from Iceland southward to Madeira, and the North Sea; one report from the Mediterranean.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Emery, 1879: 581-588, pl. XVIII (fig. 1-6) | Smitt, 1893: fig. 76-82 | Breder & Rosen, 1966: 389.
Otoliths (sagitta). Hognestad, 1962: 1.

King of the herrings (Trachipterus arcticus)