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Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Trigla lucerna Linnaeus, 1758

Diagnosis: head large, triangular, bony, with many ridges and spines but without a deep occipital groove. First dorsal fin with 8-10 spines; anterior edge of first dorsal spine smooth; second dorsal fin with 16 or 17 rays; 14-16 anal finrays. Cleithral spine, above pectoral fins, short, reaching only to first quarter of the pectoral fins. Scales absent from breast and anterior part of belly; body scales small and well embedded; lateral line scales small, tubular. Vertebrae 33 or 34 (12-13 precaudal and 20-22 caudal). Total gillrakers on first gill arch 7-11. Colour: pink or reddish-brown, sometimes mottled on back, golden to white ventrally; outer face of pectoral fins pinkish-violet or blue, spotted with white or green, and light blue or red on margins. Size: to 75 cm, usually 35 cm.

Habitat: sand, muddy sand or gravel bottoms from about 20 to 300 m depth. Behaviour: may be found in surface waters, good swimmer, can penetrate estuaries. Food: predator on fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Reproduction: spawning from May to July and the young are found in shallow bays or even estuaries in late summer.

Distribution: in eastern Atlantic from Norway to West African coast (Cape Blanc); not recorded at Madeira and the Azores, Mediterranean and Black Seas.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Emery, 1886: 149, pl. 9 (fig. 7-11) Lo Bianco, 1888: 440 | Marion, 1894: 119 | Holt, 1899:23 | Jaquet, 1907:1-5, 1 pl. | Lo Bianco, 1909: 758 | Fage, 1918: 112 & 115, fig. 82-83 | Padoa, 1956: 633, fig. 508, pl. 40 (fig. 1-7).
Otoliths (sagitta). Priol, 1932: 227, fig. 6 | Collignon, 1968: 29.

Note. Records from Gulf of Guinea, Angola and South Africa are probably based on specimens of Chelidonichthys gabonensis and C. capensis.

Tube-fish (Trigla lucerna)