Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus aculeatus)
|Researched by||Dr Harvey Tyler-Walters||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||Gasterosteus aculeatus|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandCommon in estuaries and coastal lagoons around Britain and Ireland, and in fully marine conditions from the northern Irish Sea and North Sea northwards.
Global distributionRecorded from Novaya Zemlya, Norway and Iceland south the Mediterranean, North Africa and into the Black Sea. Also from Greenland to Chesapeake in west Atlantic, and Japan to California via the Bering Sea in the Pacific.
HabitatFound in shallow waters amongst seaweeds, seagrasses and pondweeds in freshwater, estuaries, rock pools and saline lagoons or coastal waters.
- Row of three sharp spines along the back.
- Pelvic fin reduced to a single spine and one fin-ray.
- Boney plates along the sides of the body.
Additional informationThe three-spined stickleback breeds in early spring and summer. In the breeding season the males develop a bright orange to red colouration on the throat. The males build hollow nests from seaweeds and aquatic plants, into which they drive females to lay eggs that the males then guard until they hatch and the young leave the nest (see Wheeler, 1969; Dipper, 2001).
Dipper, F., 2001. British sea fishes (2nd edn). Teddington: Underwater World Publications Ltd.
FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2001-05-03
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.]
Muus, B.J. & Dahlstrom, P., 1974. Collins guide to the sea fishes of Britain and North-Western Europe. Wm Collins Sons & Co. Ltd: London.
Wheeler, A., 1969. The fishes of the British Isles and north-west Europe. London: Macmillan.
Wheeler, A., 1994. Field Key to the Shore Fishes of the British Isles. Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council.
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).
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Last Updated: 04/02/2003