MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Poor cod (Trisopterus minutus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A slender fish with a relatively small head and a barbel under the chin. The colour pattern is a yellowish-brown to bronze red on top, with a coppery colour on the flanks. The underside is paler. Poor cod grow to a maximum length of 26 cm. Trisopterus minutus feeds on invertebrates such as decapod crustaceans and smaller fish.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Very common to locally abundant around all coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

Distributed from mid-Norway to Morocco, including the western Mediterranean.

Habitat

Occurs mostly from 15 to 200 m in the Atlantic on sandy or muddy bottoms. Small poor cod are often seen in and around wrecks, or in large cracks or crevices in rocky areas. Larger fish occur down to 300 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • The upper jaw of the mouth is forward of the lower jaw.
  • Three dorsal fins, the first of which is triangular and the tallest.
  • Two anal fins, the first longer than the second.
  • A dark spot on the pectoral fin base, not larger than the pupil.

Additional information

Poor cod closely resemble bib Trisopterus luscus but lack the dark vertical bars usually visible on bib. Poor cod breed in spring in deep water. The poor cod is caught mainly in trawls. Valuable as an commercial fish because of its abundance, which also makes it an important food for some other, more directly valuable fishes, such as the cod, whiting, hake and turbot. It is used in the production of fish meal, and is eaten by humans in southern Europe.

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Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2001-05-03

  2. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ruiz, A. 2008. Trisopterus minutus Poor cod. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2171

Last Updated: 03/07/2008