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Author: Collett, 1875

Lycodes esmarki Collett, 1875

Diagnosis. body fairly elongate, its depth 12-14% TL at anal origin, covered with scales up to pelvic fins, nape and unpaired fins, also on base of pectoral fins. Maxillary tooth row 1.6-1.8 times in length of palatine tooth rows. Pectoral finrays 22-23, border not emarginate; preanal distance 38-43% TL. Lateral line double, with ventral and midlateral branches (the latter often indistinct). No pyloric caeca (present in all other Lycodes spp.). Vertebrae 115-118. Colour: upper part of body brown, with 5-9 whitish marks (inverted Y-shape in young, becoming double in medium-sized specimens, and finally loops or festoonshapes); peritoneum black. Size: to 75 cm, usually 40-55 cm.

Habitat: benthic on soft bottoms at 200-550 m (Europe), with temperatures mostly above O °C (usually 2-5 °C) and salinities high (34.5-35.0ä). Food: echinoderms (ophiurids, sea-urchins, starfishes, brittlestars). Reproduction. probably autumn; eggs demersal, about 1,200 in large females, 6 mm diameter.

Distribution: North Atlantic, from western Barents Sea to southern Norway, the Faroes-Shetland slope and northern Iceland. Elsewhere, south-western Greenland and Newfoundland southward to Virginia (probably L. esmarki vachonii).

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Collett, 1903b: 11; 1905: 119.
Otoliths (sagitta). W. Schmidt, 1968: 68, pl. 9 (fig. 131).

Lycodes esmarki