Greater eelpout (Lycodes esmarkii)

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



Lycodes esmarkii is an elongate species reaching up to 70 cm in length. The body tapers gradually backwards from the origin of the anal fin. The dorsal fin originates over the pectoral fins and runs continuously over the back to the tail and is joined to the anal fin. The anal fin itself then runs forwards on the underside three fifths of the body length. Very small pelvic fins are present. The pectoral fins are only slightly rounded. The lateral line is double, with ventral and midlateral branches. The eyes are large and the mouth is subterminal. Upper body colouration is dark brown with 5-9 whitish marks (often an inverted Y-shape), while the underside is lighter.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found off northern Scotland.

Global distribution



The greater eelpout is a bathydemersal species usually found at depths over 200 m off soft bottoms.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Elongate body up to 70 cm in length.
  • Continuous and joined dorsal and anal fins.
  • Body depth is 12-14% its length at the origin of the anal fin.
  • Minute pelvic fins.
  • White markings above.
  • No pyloric caeca.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -


  1. Froese, R. & Pauly, D., 2007. Fishbase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line], 2008-02-18

  2. 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.]

  3. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


  1. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from:

  2. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Accessed: 2024-05-18


This review can be cited as:

Barnes, M.K.S. 2008. Lycodes esmarkii Greater eelpout. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 18-05-2024]. Available from:

Last Updated: 02/06/2008